JAKARTA: The Indonesian transport ministry has clarified that foreign tourists are allowed to enter the country via Greater Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta airport, after it was earlier reported that the airport had been closed to international travellers in a bid to slow a spike in the COVID-19 caseload driven by the Omicron variant.
In a statement on Monday (Feb 7), the transport ministry clarified its statement issued a day earlier, which had indicated that Indonesians and foreigners who want to enter Indonesia for holiday can only do so via Bali’s I Gusti Ngurah Rai, Batam’s Hang Nadim and Tanjung Pinang’s Raja Haji Fisabilillah airports.
The ministry said the statement should instead have read: “Indonesian citizens and foreigners travelling from abroad for tourism purposes can enter via I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport (Bali), Hang Nadim Airport (Batam), and Raja Haji Fisabilillah Airport (Tanjung Pinang).
“Therefore (other than these airports), travellers from abroad for tourism purposes can also enter via Soekarno-Hatta airport.”
Earlier on Monday, some local and foreign news outlets including Reuters reported that Greater Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta airport was closed to international travellers to curb a rise in COVID-19 cases.
Indonesia on Sunday reported 36,057 new COVID-19 cases, the highest in six months. The caseload on Monday was 26,121.
The government on Monday also announced tighter social restrictions in Greater Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta and Bali where cases are rising.
Indonesia has so far imposed social restrictions called PPKM (community-level public activity restrictions enforcement) which comprises four tiers, with four being the highest level involving tight restrictions and high number of COVID-19 caseload.
Greater Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta and Bali were put into level three on Monday from previously level two.
“This is not just because the number of cases are high, but also because the number of cases traced is low,” said Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan who is responsible for the COVID-19 handling on Java island and Bali.
Supermarkets in the respective cities are allowed to operate until 9pm with a maximum of 60 per cent capacity, while traditional markets can operate until 8pm with also a maximum of 60 per cent capacity.
Malls can open until 9pm with a maximum capacity of 60 per cent and children under the age of 12 must have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine before they are allowed to enter the premises.
Meanwhile, houses of worship can operate with a maximum capacity of 50 per cent, sports, cultural and social activities can be held with a maximum of 25 per cent capacity.