Jakarta. All international arrivals must undergo a ten-day quarantine starting Friday to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant, a senior official said on Thursday.
The current requirement obliges foreign visitors and Indonesian returnees to spend a week-long quarantine.
Entry ban remains in place for visitors from South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, Eswatini, Malawi, Angola, Zambia, and Hong Kong
"This new policy will be evaluated periodically as we are gathering more information and knowledge about this new variant,” said chief investment minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, who is in charge of the Covid-19 responses in Java and Bali.
Civil servants are also barred from traveling abroad, including those on official duties, Luhut said.
“We call on other citizens to refrain from traveling overseas for better control of the pandemic,” he said.
The decision came as a growing number of countries have reported Omicron cases, including Australia, South Korea, Japan, and neighboring Singapore.
The Covid-19 outbreak in Indonesia has been largely under control since October, with the daily tally of new cases plummeting below 1,000 and the total number of active cases falling under 10,000.
By comparison, Southeast Asia’s biggest country recorded more than 550,000 active cases in mid-July.
Health officials said there was not a single Omicron case detected in the country to date.
The government plans to give booster doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to the most vulnerable including the older demographics of the population starting in January for extra protection against the Omicron variant, Luhut said.