Widodo calls for ASEAN travel corridor to strengthen recovery | World



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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo urged Southeast Asian countries to accelerate plans to create a regional travel corridor to help revive tourism and accelerate recovery from economic damage of the pandemic.

Citing data from the UN and the World Trade Organization, Widodo said on Monday that the level of restrictions in Southeast Asia was the highest in the world. With coronavirus cases in the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations being on the decline, those limits should be relaxed to allow people to travel more freely, he said.

Speaking at a regional business forum, Widodo urged the immediate adoption of a regional travel corridor, a concept pioneered by Indonesia in 2020 that would include faster immigration routes, recognition of vaccination certificates and standardized health measures for departure and arrival, among others.

“After 20 months of dealing with the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic, we now see a silver lining. Over the past week, COVID-19 cases in ASEAN fell 14%, far exceeding the global average, which fell 1%.

“With the COVID-19 situation becoming more under control, these restrictions could be relaxed, mobility could be relaxed, while ensuring that it is safe from the risk of a pandemic,” he said.

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