VTL (sea) ferry services to Bintan and Batam commence

Tanjungumah Batam. (Photo: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE – Quarantine-free sea travel between Singapore and Indonesia will resume with the opening of the vaccination travel corridor (by sea) from Bintan and Batam, Transport Minister S Iswaran said on Wednesday (Feb 16) .

Iswaran was speaking at a virtual media conference chaired by the Multi-Ministry Epidemic Task Force (MTF).

Travel applications to the two islands will open at 10am on February 22, with the first ferry journeys taking place on February 25.

“VTL (Sea) will benefit users of Indonesia’s tourism bubble to specific resorts in Bintan and Batam and facilitate short-term leisure travel,” the ministry said in a statement.

To further facilitate vaccination travel, MTF will resume and gradually increase VTL quotas. VTL (aviation) quotas will be fully restored immediately. VTL (land) quotas will be fully restored from 22 February, with additional bus ticket sales starting on Wednesday.

A new VTL with Hong Kong and previously delayed VTLs with Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will also be launched. VTP applications for travel from these four countries will open at 10am on 22 February, with the first VTL flights operating from 25 February.

At the same time, the MTF will first simplify the country classification. The existing categories II, III and IV will be combined into one general travel category.

Fully vaccinated travelers arriving via VTL arrangements are still exempt from quarantine border measures. Currently, all travelers from Category 1 countries with very low infection rates will also continue to enjoy quarantine-free travel arrangements. A new category of restrictions will be created for countries affected by COVID-19, requiring stricter border measures for entrants. Currently, there are no countries in the Restricted category that fall under the revised category.

Border measures will be simplified for travelers arriving from 11.59pm on 21 February 2022:

a. The travel record requirement will be reduced from 14 days to 7 days;

b. Due to the short incubation period of Omicron, the duration of home quarantine will be standardized to 7 days for all country categories;

c. The enhanced testing regime for passengers arriving on VTL will be discontinued;

d. PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) testing on arrival will no longer be required for VTL and Category I passengers.Instead, they will have up to 24 hours upon entry into Singapore to undergo a supervised self-swab (SSS) ART test at one of the testing centers across Singapore; and

e. Vaccination long-term pass holders (except work permit holders) will no longer need to obtain a Vaccination Travel Pass (VTP) or entry approval to enter Singapore. They will still need to comply with border health measures when entering the country.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button