Indonesia bans unvaccinated foreigners as Delta-variant surges

Foreign visitors who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 will be barred from entering Indonesia from Tuesday (July 6), as authorities battle to contain an outbreak of the highly-infectious Delta variant.

In an announcement on Sunday, the government said that foreign nationals entering Indonesia will need to show a vaccination certificate and a negative PCR test result.

Unvaccinated foreign nationals barred from entering Indonesia from July 6; a passenger wearing a mask at the Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Tangerang, Indonesia pictured

A vaccination certificate is also required for air travel within the country, both for international and domestic travellers.

The quarantine period for foreigners will also be increased from five to eight days, with a PCR test taken on Day 1 and another on Day 7, coordinating minister of maritime and investment Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, who spearheads the Emergency Public Activity Restrictions, said in a statement.

Unvaccinated Indonesian passport holders may enter the country by presenting a negative PCR test, and they will be vaccinated upon arrival.

Sandiaga Uno, minister of tourism and creative economy, expressed his support for the tightened border measures during a press conference on Monday.

“We are also calling (on industry stakeholders) to close all destinations and postpone all tourism and creative economic activities across the country,” he said, adding that activities such as the Work from Bali programme and vaccine tours have been put on hold for now.

“We understand that this is bitter for the industry, but Covid-19 data points to an emergency situation and we cannot take any more risks and must put the public’s health first,” Sandiaga said.

However, he added, preparations for the reopening of borders will go on. “The plan to reopen Bali, for example, must meet three pre-conditions: Around 70-80 per cent of the local population must be vaccinated, the end-to-end implementation of (cleanliness, health, safety and environment) CHSE protocols must be finalised, and the infection rate must be below 100. We have to keep our spirit and work hard to achieve those preconditions,” Sandiaga said.

He added that the government would speed up the rollout of the recently-announced 60 billion rupiah (US$4.2 million) incentive package to the tourism industry.

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