A Soekarno-Hatta Airport health authority worker cleans passenger seats of an aircraft. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Indonesia Begins to Reopen Borders 

BY :FANA SUPARMAN

SEPTEMBER 16, 2021

Jakarta. The Indonesian government has lifted the Covid-19 lockdown by allowing foreigners with valid Indonesian visas and stay permits to reenter the country, a spokesman said on Thursday.

Justice Minister Yasonna Laoly issued a new regulation on Wednesday to cancel out the previous one that completely banned non-essential visits at the height of the Delta variant outbreak.

International arrivals were previously limited to official visits and diplomatic visa holders only when the country’s health system was in the brink of collapse due to a dramatic surge in Covid-19 cases and deaths.

The latest ministerial regulation “reopens access to Indonesia for foreigners with valid visas and stay permits," Immigration Office spokesman Arya Pradhana Anggakara said in a statement.

It also applies to international ship and airline crew members transiting in the country, he said.

Moreover, the immigration office reopens offshore visa services available on its website.

International visits are permitted at certain entry gates only and visitors must show proof that they are fully vaccinated, in addition to negative test of Covid-19 and valid travel documents, he added.

However, immigration officials are authorized to refuse entry by visitors from high risk countries where the Covid-19 outbreak remains uncontrollable, based on advices by related ministries and state agencies, he said.

Foreign visitors are required to own health insurance applicable in Indonesia.

“If they don’t have one, they must sign a disclaimer stating that they agree to cover all medical expenses in case they contract Covid-19 while staying in Indonesia," Arya said.

Earlier in the day, the National Covid-19 Task Force said the government limits operating international “entry points” to just six. 

Under the current policy, international flights are only available at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten, and Sam Ratulangi International Airport in Manado, North Sulawesi.

International arrivals by ships are directed to Batam Seaport in the province of Riau Islands and to Nunukan Seaport in East Kalimantan.

Similarly, only two border crossings are open, including Aruk and Entikong in West Kalimantan.

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