JAKARTA: Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced on Tuesday (May 17) that the country will no longer require vaccinated travellers from overseas to present a negative COVID-19 test upon entering the country.
“Domestic and international travellers who are fully vaccinated no longer need to take PCR (polymerase chain reaction) or antigen swab tests,” he announced on the presidential palace’s YouTube channel.
Indonesia lifted the test requirement for fully vaccinated domestic travellers in March but currently still requires those arriving from overseas to take a pre-departure COVID-19 test.
Speaking at a separate press conference, spokesman for Indonesia's COVID-19 task force, Wiku Adisasmito said that the new policy will take effect on Wednesday.
"The instructions will be elaborated in a number of regulations and will be effective on May 18," he said.
"We hope the policy will be implemented well. However, people are expected to remain vigilant and adapt to future changes."
The president said the Indonesian government is also loosening its policy for mask wearing.
“If people are conducting activities in outdoor spaces which are not crowded, they are allowed to not wear masks. However, for indoor activities and on public transportation, (people) must still wear masks,” he said.
Indonesia has been recording between 200 and 400 daily COVID-19 cases recently, far fewer than at the height of its second wave in March when it was logging more than 50,000 cases a day.
More than 6 million people in Indonesia have contracted COVID-19 since the pandemic began. The coronavirus has claimed the lives of more than 156,000 people.
Out of Indonesia’s 270 million population, 166 million people have been fully vaccinated.