Jakarta. The Indonesian government will ban entry by visitors from all countries from January 1-14 to prevent the spread of a new, more transmissible strain of coronavirus first reported by the UK, the foreign minister said on Monday.
The move, decided in a cabinet meeting led by President Joko Widodo, overrides an earlier policy on stricter regulations for international arrivals.
"There have been reports about a new strain of Covid-19 that according to scientific studies is capable of spreading more rapidly," Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said in a statement.
The government is not taking any chance in response to the reports.
"I repeat, we will close door to foreign citizens from any country from January 1 to January 14,” she said.
However, delegations on official visits especially at the ministerial level or above are exempt from the new rule, she said.
International arrivals until December 31 must produce a negative coronavirus test from the country of origin taken within 48 hours until the departure date, according to the statement.
Upon arrival, foreigners must self-quarantine for five days at government-appointed hotels and take another polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based test here before being allowed to travel in Indonesia.