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Indonesia reopens islands to tourists from Singapore

A man stands as he travels on a wooden boat near a port in Tanjungpinang, on the island of Bintan, Indonesia, June 15, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

Officials announced on Monday that Indonesia reopened two islands near Singapore to tourists from the city-state as part of a series of calculated efforts to resurrect its tourism sector while containing the spread of COVID-19.

The news: Singaporeans can visit the islands of Batam and Bintan, which are around 15 kilometres (9.32 miles) and 30 kilometres away, respectively, if they have been vaccinated against COVID-19, have undergone testing, and have insurance coverage, according to authorities.

  • Prior to the pandemic, the two islands were extremely popular vacation destinations for Singaporeans.
  • The move comes after Indonesia’s resort island of Bali reopened to foreign tourists in October.
  • It was unclear how the agreement would be implemented in both nations, and Singapore’s transport and tourism agencies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
  • The process, according to Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister of Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto, could take a long time.

Following months of containment, Indonesia, which was formerly Asia’s COVID-19 epicentre, has experienced an increase in infections, including from the Omicron strain. On Saturday, it announced the first two Omicron-related deaths.

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