As part of Singapore’s ongoing efforts to welcome more international visitors, a Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) arrangement via sea (VTL (Sea)) between Singapore and the islands of Bintan and Batam will be launched from 25 February 2022.
Although access to Bintan and Batam is through Singapore, both islands are part of Indonesia and travellers of all nationalities will need to abide by the respective entry requirements set by the Republic of Indonesia government.
Australians wishing to travel to Bintan or Batam would therefore be required to spend 14 days in Singapore prior to travelling to either Bintan or Batam, amongst other requirements.
1 | What is the ‘travel bubble’ scheme?
According to the Circular Letter of the Head of COVID-19 Handling Task Force Number 3 of 2022 regarding the Health Protocol for the International Travelers with Travel Bubble Mechanism in the Area of Batam-Bintan with Singapore in Times of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic, travel bubble is a travel corridor system which aims to divide participants into different groups (bubbles) by separating those who have the risk of exposed to COVID-19 (either through contact history or travel history to the area with a community transmission) with general public, as well as restricting interaction with only the participants in the same bubble and quarantine principle implementation to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
2 | Are we allowed to enter Riau Islands?
According to the Circular Letter of the Head of COVID-19 Handling Task Force Number 3 of 2022, as of 24 January 2022, all international travelers with travel bubble mechanism are allowed to enter Riau Islands from Singapore under the following conditions:
● International travelers going to Batam or Bintan with travel bubble scheme are Indonesian citizens or foreign nationals who are going to Batam or Bintan with the origins of arrival from Singapore and have been staying in Singapore for at least 14 days.
● Through the entry points as follows:
○ Nongsapura International Ferry Terminal for the travel bubble area in Nongsa Sensation in Batam; and
○ Bandar Bintan Telani Ferry Terminal for the travel bubble area in Lagoi Bintan Resort in Bintan;
● Presenting cards or certificates or receipt of COVID-19 vaccine and a negative RT-PCR test result;
● Tourist visa or other entry permits according to the regulations applied, with exclusions to international travelers with Singapore citizenship;
● For foreign nationals, Proof of ownership of health insurance with a minimum coverage value of SGD 30,000 which includes financing for handling COVID-19 and medical evacuation towards a referral hospital;
● Proof of booking confirmation and payment of travel bubble travel packages in the Lagoi Bintan Resort or Nongsa Sensation area;
You can check out this page to gather more information regarding the arrival protocols to enter Riau Islands through Batam Bintan – Singapore travel bubble scheme.
3 | Is there a mandatory self-quarantine?
No, there is no mandatory self-quarantine during your visit to Riau Islands if you’re following Batam Bintan – Singapore travel bubble scheme. However, there are certain rules that you must follow while in the travel bubble area of Batam and Bintan.
According to the Circular Letter of the Head of COVID-19 Handling Task Force Number 3 of 2022, all international travelers with travel bubble mechanisms must comply with the following conditions/requirements:
● International travelers are only allowed to interact with tourists or parties within one travel bubble area;
● International travelers are only permitted to carry out activities in the predetermined zone in accordance with the trips (itinerary) set;
● Report to health workers in the travel bubble area when experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19 to be further examined with RT-PCR test later; and
● Comply with the mechanism of close contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine that apply in Indonesia if a positive COVID-19 case is found in the relevant travel bubble area.
4 | Which visas are allowed for entering Riau Islands?
According to the Circular of Directorate General of Immigration of the Republic of Indonesia No. IMI-0196.GR.01.01 Year 2022, which is effective since 24 January 2022, international travelers going to Riau Islands through travel bubble scheme with a visit period no more than 14 days can be granted visa free service as long as they attach the required documents as follows:
● Nationality passport that is still valid for at least of 6 (six) months;
● Return ticket to Singapore via the same entry points;
● Other required documents as mentioned above in question no. 2.
5 | What health protocols should we follow as we arrive in Riau Islands?
According to the Circular Letter of the Head of COVID-19 Handling Task Force Number 3 of 2022, starting from 24 January 2022, all travelers entering Riau Islands through Batam Bintan – Singapore travel bubble scheme should adhere to the following requirements:
● Comply with all the health protocols set up by the government;
● Present cards or certificates (physical and digital) of receiving a complete dose of COVID-19 vaccine which are administered at least 14 days before departure written in English aside from the national language or the language of the origins of departure. The vaccine cards or certificates must also be verified on the Official Website of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia or e-HAC International Indonesia;
● Show the negative results of the RT-PCR test in the country/region of origin with sample taken within a maximum of 3 x 24 hours before departure and attached during the health examination or on the Indonesian International E-HAC;
● You are required to use the PeduliLindungi and Bluepass apps while doing activities around the travel bubble area. Your e-HAC can also be verified through the PeduliLindungi app.
6 | Should we show proof of vaccination from our country of origin?
All international travelers must present cards or certificates (physical and digital) of having received a complete dose of COVID-19 vaccine which are administered at least 14 days before departure written in English aside from the national language or the language of the origins of departure. The vaccine cards or certificates must also be verified on the Official Website of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia or e-HAC International Indonesia. Check out this page to learn about how to verify your vaccination status.
7 | How Many RT-PCR Tests Are We Required to Do?
There will be 2 RT-PCR tests you are required to take according to the Circular of the Head of COVID-19 Handling Task Force Number 3 of 2022:
● At least 72 hours before departure;
● Once you arrived at the airport;
8 | What if my RT-PCR test result is positive?
If your RT-PCR test during arrival or quarantine shows a positive result, then you will have to take measurements based on the following conditions:
● International travelers receiving positive test result without any symptoms or experiencing mild symptoms must undergo insulation or treatment in the place of insulation accommodation that is separate from the travel bubble area at the cost of entirely self-funded for the foreign nationals or borne by the government for Indonesian citizens;
● International travelers receiving positive test result with moderate or severe symptoms must undergo insulation or treatment at the referral hospital at the cost of entirely self-funded for foreign nationals or the borne by the government for Indonesian citizens; or
● Undergo medical evacuation towards a referral hospital in accordance with the procedure set by the related referral hospital.
Keep in mind that the costs of RT-PCR tests are borne independently.
9 | What happens if we can’t pay for treatment at the hospital?
Sponsor parties, Ministries, Institutions, or State-Owned Companies that approve the entry permit for you will then be responsible for it.
10 | Which vaccines are accepted in Indonesia?
The Indonesian government recognizes the following vaccinations, including but not limited to two-doses of Pfizer, Moderna, Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, as well as a single-dose of Johnson & Johnson. The card/certificate will be accepted in English and other foreign languages. Please make sure your vaccination data is verified beforehand by Indonesia’s Ministry of Health, as specified in question no.6.
11 | What if my RT-PCR test result is negative?
Once you’ve completed the arrival procedures, you will then continue the journey by following the procedure as follows:
● Examination of immigration documents and customs documents;
● Baggage collection and disinfection; and
● Pickup and delivery to the location of the tourist destination.
If you are planning to visit Riau Islands through Batam Bintan – Singapore travel bubble scheme, we need to kindly remind you to always comply with our regulations and requirements and always practice healthy habits such as wearing a mask in public places, washing hands frequently, and implementing physical distancing with other travelers. Make sure to follow our official social media accounts on:
*Disclaimer : This article was updated on February 18th, 2022. Due to the dynamic nature of travel regulations, please refer to official websites and links found in this article for the latest updates and developments.
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