The government is seeking to create “travel bubbles” with China, South Korea, Japan and Australia, which are known for their achievements in handling the COVID-19 outbreak, as the nation enters its so-called new normal period.
The term “travel bubble”, or “travel corridor”, refers to an agreement in which countries succeeding in containing the outbreak open their borders to each other to allow free movement within the bubble.
The Office of the Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister’s undersecretary for tourism and the creative economy, Oto Manuhutu, said his office was discussing the matter with the Foreign Ministry as well as the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry.
“The four countries were chosen because many tourists and foreign investors in Indonesia come from those countries,” Oto said on Friday, as quoted by Antara.
Despite the plan, he added that businesspeople would probably be the first and only ones to travel to and from those countries in the near future. “Hopefully, tourists will gradually follow to visit [Indonesia] after the investors.”
Oto went on to say that the Foreign Ministry was discussing the requirements for travel bubbles before signing agreements with the four countries.
“The travel bubbles would open two to four weeks after the agreements are signed while taking into consideration health, security and technical aspects,” said Oto.
Experts have said that the government’s move to ease COVID-19 restrictions might worsen conditions, as the country has yet to reach its peak in the epidemiological curve. (aly)
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