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Jakarta Post

Long lines at Batam port ahead of Singapore’s new travel restriction

  • Fadli

    The Jakarta Post

Batam   /   Mon, March 16, 2020   /   02:41 pm
Long lines at Batam port ahead of Singapore’s new travel restriction The cruise ship Costa Fortuna is seen docked in Singapore on March 10 after the vessel was turned away from ports in Malaysia and Thailand amid fears of the COVID-19 outbreak. (AFP/Louis KWOK)

Hundreds of Batam residents filled the Batam Center International Ferry Port on Monday ahead of Singapore’s implementation of new border restrictions on Monday to stop the spread of COVID-19.

People who enter Singapore with a recent travel history to countries heavily affected by the virus — including Indonesia, Japan, Switzerland and the United Kingdom — within the last 14 days will receive a 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN). The regulation will not apply to Singaporeans and Malaysians using sea and land crossings with Malaysian services. 

Indonesian ferry operators are likely to stop trips to Singapore as the regulation will take effect starting at 11.59 p.m. on Monday.

However, starting at 8 a.m. on Monday morning, ferry operators are allowing Indonesian passport holders with temporary stay permits, student passes or permanent resident cards to buy Batam-Singapore tickets. 

"Without those conditions, we cannot sell the tickets. It is a requirement set by Singapore," said Batam Fast Ferry ticket officer Santi.

Batam Center International Ferry Port operations manager Nika Astaga said the port would study the impact of the aforementioned regulations issued by Singapore's Ministry of Health.

"Today [Monday], we will have a joint meeting with stakeholders at the port," Nika said.

A number of ferry services said they were still uncertain of their business following the restrictions, predicting a decline in the number of passengers.

Rizal, a ferry worker, said he did not even know whether his company would run trips on Tuesday. (ggq)