Despite the global lockdown during COVID-19 pandemic, many countries had started to reopen their international borders. Indonesia is a part of the list, with plan and possibility to open for foreign tourists starting July 2021.
But there are terms and conditions if you want to travel to this island nation. Here’s everything you need to know about COVID-19 situation and the latest travel policy in Indonesia.
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On 2 March 2020, President Joko Widodo announced that two Indonesian have been tested positive for COVID-19. That was the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Indonesia.
Since then, from 2 March 2020 to 24 April 2021 there have been 1,632,248 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with total 44,346 deaths. The peak of COVID-19 cases happen on 31 January 2021, where the cases reached 12,001 in one day. As of 23 April 2021, there are 5,436 reported cases.
Since March 2020, Indonesia closed its border to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Exceptions were given to those who had special permission from Indonesian ministries or institutions.
To manage the COVID-19 situation, Indonesian COVID-19 Task Force implemented Pembatasan Sosial Berskala Besar (PSBB) or Large-Scale Social Restrictions (LSSR) in some high risk areas (e.g. Jakarta and Yogyakarta). During Ramadan 2021, the Task Force also banned people for mudik (an Eid tradition where people going back to the hometown) to prevent the spread of the virus.
You can see all COVID-19 updates and informations here.
Indonesia is one of the top countries to vaccinate its people in a mass scale. On 13 January, President Joko Widodo received the first injection of the COVID-19 vaccine. Since then, Indonesia begin inoculating 181.5 billion people – the largest vaccination program against COVID-19 in all of Southeast Asia.
The vaccination program is split into four phases:
- Phase 1: January – April 2021 with targets ranging from health workers, healthcare assistants, supporting staff, and medical students who work in healthcare facilities.
- Phase 2: January – April 2021 with targets ranging from those who closely interact with public, such as personnel of Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI) and National Police (Polri), law enforcement officers, and officers working at airports, ports, as well as train and bus stations. In addition, frontline workers who directly provide services to the public (e.g. bank employees, tourism sector employees) as well as residents aged 60 and above will also vaccinated in this phase.
- Phase 3: April 2021 – March 2022 with targets of vulnerable segments of society in terms of geospatial, social, and economic circumstances.
- Phase 4: April 2021 – March 2022 with targets for the whole public and other economic industry players.
As of April 2021, as many as 11,432,711 people have been vaccinated. Meanwhile, 6,448,197 people have received their second vaccination.
The main vaccine that have been used is CoronaVac, designed by Sinovac Biotech in China. The vaccine is declared halal by the Indonesian Islamic Clerical Council (MUI). The vaccination program is split into four phases with healthcare workers receiving the first batch of vaccines, followed by public servants and then other members of the public.
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Can I travel to Indonesia now?
The international borders firmly closed to foreign travellers - with exceptions:
- Foreign nationals holding KITAS (temporary stay) and KITAP (permanent stay) permits
- Foreign nationals holding diplomatic visa and working visa
- Foreign nationals holding diplomatic and business stay permits
- Foreign nationals working on medical and food assistance
- Foreign nationals serving as transportation (air, sea, or land) crew
- Foreign nationals working on national strategic projects
- Foreign national with mixed-nationalites to reunite with family.
For those who falls under the criteria, the following entry requirement will be needed:
- A health certificate stating negative COVID-19 PCR test. The negative test certificate must be in English with test being taken not more than 7 days prior to arrival.
- Arriving without COVID-19 test certificate will require you to undergo a COVID-19 swab test and quarantine at your own expense
- A personal statement stating your willingness and readiness to undergo quarantine for up to 14 days.
Since October 2020, Singapore and Indonesia have established a business travel arrangement under the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL). All eligible visitors must have a sponsor from government agency or company in Singapore and apply for a SafeTravel pass.
Until April 2021, the travel corridor in Indonesia is still limited to diplomatic and business trips to 4 countries:
- United Arab Emirates
- South Korea
- Several areas in China, including Chengdu and Kunming.
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Border Reopening Plan
Indonesian government is planning to reopen Bali province for foreign tourists in July 2021. At the same time, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said the government will also prepare a travel corridor with other countries to boost tourism arrivals.
While Bali become the first area to open for international tourists, local authority together with The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy brought up potential plans for COVID-19 green zones in Bali – areas where travelers can visit and stay.
Considering its urgency, Bali became top priority for vaccination program. Indonesian government is accelerating its vaccination program in Bali to support the reopening of international border in July.
Beside Bali, the local government of Riau Islands are planning to open Bintan and Batam for Singaporean tourists by end of April 2021. Lagoi in Bintan and Nongsa Point in Batam will be the main gateways for Singapore tourists.
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Latest development on tourism
Several months into social distancing due to the spread of COVID-19, people are starting to find their way outside of their homes. To prevent the spread of coronavirus, The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy comes with a new regulation which is CHSE (Cleanliness, Health, Safety, and Environmental Sustainability) protocols.
The CHSE protocols are implemented in all tourism areas: hospitality, restaurants, and transportation hubs. You can download the handbooks here.
For domestic tourist, leisure travel is still ongoing as the archipelago offers an abundance of destinations to explore. The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy rolled out campaigns such as “DiIndonesiaAja” to ask people to travel domestically as tourism sectors have been hit quite hard by COVID-19 pandemic.
Important articles and reliable sources
Before travelling to Indonesia during COVID-19 pandemic, there are some preparations and important information you should read.
Indonesian government’s official COVID-19 related website: https://covid19.go.id/
Official updates on COVID-19: https://kawalcovid19.id/
Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: https://kemlu.go.id/portal/id
Indonesian Immigration Office: https://www.imigrasi.go.id/