Indonesia lifts foreign arrival ban to boost tourism

Even as local Covid-19 infections continue to rise, Indonesia removes all 14 heavily infected countries from its travel ban list, allowing travellers from countries such as South Africa and the United Kingdom to enter its borders starting Jan. 12.

Even as local Covid-19 infections continued to rise, Indonesia lifted a ban on all foreign arrivals and kept the required isolation period at 7 days to keep the economy afloat.

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According to a statement from the Covid-19 Task Force, authorities removed all 14 heavily infected countries from their travel ban list last week, allowing travellers from countries like South Africa and the United Kingdom to enter starting Jan. 12.

Indonesia lifts foreign
Indonesia lifts foreign

With the restrictions in place, “cross-border movements that are still required to maintain stability, including the national economic recovery,” said spokesman Wiku Adisasmito in a statement.

The lifting of the ban comes as the largest economy in Southeast Asia prepares for a number of international events this year, including the MotoGP championship in March and the G-20 Summit in November, both of which are expected to attract more international visitors.

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On Tuesday, the number of daily Covid cases in Indonesia reached 1,362, the highest level since October 8, as the omicron strain spread across the country and local transmissions outnumbered imported cases. Jakarta was home to roughly half of the new cases. Despite this, the rate of hospitalisation and fatalities has remained low as vaccination coverage has increased.

At Sports Events, Health Protocols

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Sandiaga Uno, the Minister of Tourism, stated that the government will continue to enforce strict health protocols at sporting events. He was responding to a statement by Dorna Sports, the organiser of the MotoGP motorcycle race, that the race would not adhere to Indonesia’s quarantine protocols.

Separately, President Joko Widodo reaffirmed a call for Indonesians to avoid going to public places, working from home, and travelling abroad in the coming weeks to avoid a surge in omicron cases that could overwhelm the country’s health system. According to the government, cases are expected to peak in February or mid-March before subsiding.

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