Jakarta. Indonesia has dropped the quarantine requirement for international travelers who have received the complete vaccine doses against Covid-19 starting on March 22. The government hopes this will encourage the country's economic recovery.
The decision ended two years of Indonesia's border closure and put the country in the same position as its neighbors Thailand and Malaysia, which had opened their borders earlier.
The government decided after seeing the success of a quarantine-free trial in Bali, Batam, and Bintan in the past two weeks, the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno said on Monday.
In the three regions, "the positivity rate is very low, and the reproduction rate is decreasing," Sandiaga said.
Under the new rule, international travelers are only required to take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test upon entry.
The minister said that Indonesia also expanded its visa on arrival policy to cover travelers from 42 countries, on top of 13 countries that already enjoyed the facility today.
'We are currently preparing a single understanding and narrative about transitioning to the post-pandemic new economic order," Sandiaga said.
The government would carry out the transition in the next few weeks, as Indonesia enters the Islamic fasting month Ramadan and Idul Fitri, a period when household consumption usually peaks.
"If all goes well, we can expand people's economic activities," Sandiaga said.
Southeast Asia's largest economy has been managing the latest omicron wave relatively better compared to the delta, thanks to a higher level of vaccination among its population and comprehensive testing and tracing. The country reported only around 2,000 covid related death per week during the omicron peak, compared to delta's 12,000, data from the Ministry of Health showed.
On Monday, the country reported 4.699 new Covid-19 cases, dropping 93 percent from the latest peak last month. There were 154 Covid-19 related deaths on Monday, and the death toll has been declining for two weeks.