Indonesia Tightens Travel Restrictions to Prevent Spread of Omicron

Diana Mariska
Travelers in Terminal 3 Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on Saturday, October 23.
Travelers in Terminal 3 Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on Saturday, October 23. - The Indonesian government has decided to ban entry of travelers from 11 countries over the spread of new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529 or Omicron.

The Ministry of Transportation issued a circular letter on Monday, November 29, stating that travelers from South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, Eswatini, Malawi, Angola, Zambia, and Hong Kong will be denied entry into Indonesia.

“This adjustment is an anticipative measure taken by the Ministry to prevent the transmission of the new COVID-19 variant in Indonesia, by tightening the implementation of health protocols in transportation entry points, including airports, ports, and border posts,” Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi said in a statement on Monday.

The entry ban will be applicable to foreign travelers who have visited the 11 countries within the past 14 days while Indonesians who have traveled to the countries within the same period must go through 14 days of quarantine.

Meanwhile, all travelers, locals and foreigners, with international traveling history outside of the 11 countries will also have to go through a 7-day quarantine.

The Minister said his office will continue to monitor the development as he continues ‘intensive’ coordination with concerning authorities, including the COVID-19 Task Force, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Law and Human Rights, the National Police, and the military forces.

As reported by the Task Force, new variant SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.529 was found in South Africa earlier this month and has been rapidly spreading and causing case surges in several Southern African countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) has since classified the variant as a variant of concern.

Spokesperson for the Task Force Wiku Adisasmito said adjustments in current restrictions are necessary to be made as the situation of the pandemic continues to develop,

“Principally, in order to adapt well [with the changing condition], COVID-19 policies must be adapting to the dynamic of the virus and its variants that continue to develop globally,” Wiku said.

He said his office is working with field officers to ensure proper quarantine management as adjustments are being made.

Tag # covid19 # travel restriction # travel # ministry of transportation # budi karya sumadi # south africa # omicron

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