Travel under green lane arrangement affected after Indonesia's temporary ban on foreigners

Passengers arriving at Soekarno-Hatta Airport, on the outskirts of Jakarta on Jan 1, 2021.
Passengers arriving at Soekarno-Hatta Airport, on the outskirts of Jakarta on Jan 1, 2021.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Singaporeans will not be able to travel to Indonesia under the Singapore-Indonesia Reciprocal Green Lane/Travel Corridor Arrangement, following Indonesia's temporary ban on the entry of all foreign nationals, amid concerns over the more infectious coronavirus strain identified in the United Kingdom.

This was announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on Friday (Jan 1), in response to media queries.

On Dec 28, Indonesia's foreign minister Retno Marsudi announced the ban that will be in place from Jan 1 to 14.

"The Indonesian government has notified MFA that this ban would also apply to foreign nationals travelling to Indonesia under all of Indonesia's Travel Corridor Arrangements with other countries," said MFA.

Given the reciprocal nature of the green lane arrangement, travellers from Indonesia will also not be able to enter Singapore during the period of the ban, added MFA.

But travellers who have already received approval to enter Singapore under the reciprocal green lane can proceed.

Indonesia's foreign minister had also said on Dec 28 that Indonesian citizens returning from abroad would still be allowed entry, but they have to follow rigorous procedures including taking a reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction test upon arrival, and be quarantined for five days at designated hotels even if they test negative.

The expenses of the tests and quarantine will be covered by the Indonesian government for returning citizens.

The green lane between Singapore and Indonesia was announced on Oct 12 last year to enable cross-border travel for essential business and official purposes. Applications started on Oct 26.