Indonesia pushes for Asean travel bubble in early 2021

Indonesia pushes for Asean travel bubble in early 2021

A woman ticket vendor waits for tourists at the entrance to Puseh Temple at Batuan Village in Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia. (Photo: Reuters)
A woman ticket vendor waits for tourists at the entrance to Puseh Temple at Batuan Village in Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia. (Photo: Reuters)

SINGAPORE: Indonesia is pushing for a travel corridor arrangement for Southeast Asian countries to be in place in the first three months of 2021.

President Joko Widodo said a declaration on the travel corridor will be issued during the ongoing Asean Summit.

Indonesia proposed the move in June, when Thailand and Malaysia said they backed the move, but other countries have not signaled their support for the arrangement.

Indonesia is struggling with the largest coronavirus outbreak in Southeast Asia, with the number of confirmed cases surging more than 50% from September to 448,118 as of Wednesday. 

The region’s largest economy is also seeking to rebound from a technical recession, after two straight quarters of annual economic contraction.

Asean needs to put in place temporary fast lanes and health protocols to facilitate the travel corridor, which would help the region’s economic activity pick up, Widodo said in a statement Thursday.

“The people cannot wait much longer, they want to see our region revive,” he said.

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