Singapore, Indonesia agree to launch green lane for essential business, official travel

SINGAPORE (CNA) – Singapore and Indonesia agreed to set up a reciprocal green lane (RGL) for essential business and official travel between both countries.

RGL applications will open on October 26 and travel will start soon after, Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said yesterday.

The agreement comes less than two months after MFA said on August 25 Singapore and Indonesia planned to begin talks for a reciprocal green lane.

Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi told CNA the two countries were in the final phase of negotiations for the green lane, and that preparations were being made on the ground to facilitate arrivals.

MFA said yesterday Singapore Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and Marsudi reaffirmed the “excellent and longstanding relations” between Singapore and Indonesia in a telephone conversation.

They also recalled their discussion in August this year on the importance of strengthening mutually beneficial cooperation in overcoming common challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This includes the resumption of essential travel while safeguarding public health and safety in both countries.

“In this context, the ministers welcomed the conclusion of the negotiations,” said MFA.

Indonesian citizens as well as Singapore citizens and residents are eligible for the RGL, also referred to by Indonesia as the travel corridor arrangement (TCA), said MFA.

Travellers must abide by COVID-19 prevention and public health measures agreed by both countries, including pre-departure and post-arrival polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab tests from mutually recognised health institutions.

Operational details regarding the RGL, including the procedural requirements, health protocols and application process will be announced “in due course”.

Marsudi said at a press conference yesterday there will be two points of entry in Indonesia for the RGL: Batam Centre Ferry Terminal and Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. The two entry points for Singapore will be Tanah Merah ferry terminal and Changi Airport, she added.