Jokowi pushes for Southeast Asian travel arrangement

Jokowi pushes for Southeast Asian travel arrangement

Passengers wearing protective masks walk on the tarmac as they arrive at the Halim Perdanakusuma airport in Jakarta on Wednesday. (Reuters photo)
Passengers wearing protective masks walk on the tarmac as they arrive at the Halim Perdanakusuma airport in Jakarta on Wednesday. (Reuters photo)

Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo pushed for travel to reopen in Southeast Asia, saying this would help economic recovery in the region that has seen coronavirus cases recede.

He said the Association of Southeast Asian Nations needs to hit its vaccination target of 70% of the population of over 650 million people as soon as possible so that economies could reopen safely. 

Jokowi, as the president’s known, has been pushing for a regional travel corridor arrangement since late last year. Instead, each country has set up bilateral deals with nations around the world, with Singapore reopening to North America and Europe while Thailand scrapped quarantine rules for 46 countries while excluding Indonesia.

Southeast Asia has one of the highest levels of restrictions in the world and it is crucial for the region to have a vaccinated travel corridor, Jokowi told the Asean Business Summit in Brunei via video link.

His remarks will be followed by other world leaders at the event, including UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

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