Jakarta. The Indonesian government obliges any foreign visitor to produce a negative coronavirus test result in the country of origin and spend five days in quarantine upon arrival, a spokesperson said Monday.
The new rule also temporarily bans visits by all travelers from the United Kingdom.
The rule by the Transportation Ministry was issued to contain the spread of new variant of coronavirus believed to be more contagious than the original virus.
Applicable until January 8, the new restriction policies are issued “to anticipate the spread of the new variant of coronavirus from South Wales and England and a surge in cases across Europe and Australia, that we need additional measures for international travelers to protect the Indonesian people from imported cases,” Adita Irawati, a spokeswoman for the ministry, said in a statement.
Visitors from Europe and Australia must produce a negative Covid-19 test taken within 48 hours until the departure date while those from other countries are given three days for the test, according to the Transportation Ministry circular.
It specifies that foreign visitors must take the polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based test prior to their departure.
Upon arrivals, all visitors and incoming Indonesians from foreign countries must take a further test at the Indonesian airports. If the results come back negative, they still have to self-quarantine at government-appointed hotels at their own expenses. Another negative Covid test is required after the quarantine period before they are finally allowed to travel in the country.
Diplomats from foreign missions and their family members are allowed to quarantine at their official residence.
Indonesia is currently in the worst period of the outbreak with newly cases spiraling beyond control and daily death toll growing at unprecedented rate.
There have been a total of 713,365 cases in the country with an additional 6,528 new cases on Sunday.
Southeast Asia’s biggest country is currently dealing with more than 108,000 active cases of the virus as worst-affected provinces reported that hospitals were running out of capacity.
A further 243 Covid patients have died in the 24-hour period, bringing the total death toll to 21,237.
It’s for the fourth time that the daily death toll has topped 200, all occurring this month.
Nearly 4,300 people have died from coronavirus since the beginning of the month, already beating the previous record for the highest monthly death toll.
Jakarta is home to 24.7 percent of the overall cases nationwide with a total of 175,926 cases as of Sunday, including 3,189 deaths.
That figure is higher than combined cases from two provinces with closest total to it.
East Java, where cases have been surging dramatically since late November, is at a distant second with a total of 80,748 cases.
The province has the highest number of Covid deaths, totaling 5,383.
West Java also sees resurgence in new cases by averaging around 1,000 so far this month, taking its total to 79,590. The virus has killed 1,157 people in the country’s most populous province.
Central Java comes next with a total of 77,793 cases, but it overtook Jakarta in the casualty toll of the virus after adding 80 more deaths on Sunday for a total of 3,247.
The second group of key hotspots includes South Sulawesi, East Kalimantan, Riau, West Sumatra and Banten, where daily infections average within three digits.