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Indonesia scraps COVID-19 quarantine for overseas arrivals

Indonesia scraps COVID-19 quarantine for overseas arrivals

File photo. Visitors at Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Tangerang, on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia, on Jan 1, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana)

JAKARTA: Indonesia has removed its quarantine requirement for all arrivals from overseas, its tourism minister said on Monday (Mar 21), responding to improvements in its containment of the coronavirus

The decision, effective immediately, follows the successful implementation of a quarantine waiver this month for visitors vaccinated against COVID-19 on the islands of Bali, Batam, and Bintan, minister Sandiaga Uno told a news conference.

"With the handling of the pandemic more controlled ... today we announce that the policy of no quarantine has been expanded across Indonesia," said Sandiaga, adding a negative COVID-19 test would still be required.

The waiver follows similar moves by Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and lately, Malaysia, as countries seek to rebuild travel sectors that have collapsed under tight restrictions.

Sandiaga said detailed regulations could be published on Tuesday.

A visa-on-arrival policy is in effect in Bali covering 42 countries, with an exemption for visitors from Southeast Asian nations. It was not immediately clear if those rules would apply beyond Bali.

A senior minister last week said the visa-on-arrival would be expanded to include the capital Jakarta and Surabaya.

About 143,700 foreign tourists came to Indonesia in January, up 13.6 per cent from a year earlier, although the number was far below pre-pandemic levels, which were typically above 1 million each month.

Sandiaga said the government had yet to revise its target for 1.8 million to 3.6 million visitors this year, but said he was "fairly optimistic that there will be an upside surprise".

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Source: Reuters/aj

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