Passengers queue at Syamsudin Noor International Airport in Banjarbaru, South Kalimantan, on Thursday. (Antara Photo/Bayu Pratama S.)

Indonesia Stops Issuing Free Visa and Visa-on-Arrival for a Month


MARCH 20, 2020

Jakarta. Indonesia's Foreign Affairs Ministry announced on Thursday that as of March 20, foreigners planning to visit Indonesia must resubmit their visa application along with a health certificate. This is according to a new visa policy that will be active for the next month, issued to prevent further escalation of the Covid-19 pandemic inside the country. 

"As of Friday, we will stop issuing free visa, visa-on-arrival and diplomatic visa for a month. Visitors who want to come to Indonesia must submit or re-submit their visa application to our embassies complete with a health statement," ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah said on Thursday.

He said Indonesia has not banned tourists from coming into the country.

"We're not banning foreign tourists, but we are renewing the procedure for their visa application. They now must submit a health certificate as well," Teuku said.

Indonesia continues to ban travelers from China and several cities in Iran and South Korea and prohibits people who have traveled to Italy, Vatican City, Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland and the United Kingdom in the past 14 days from entering or transiting.

The most populous country in Southeast Asia has quickly become a new epicenter for the Covid-19 pandemic in the region this month. It now has one of the highest fatality rates for the pandemic worldwide.

The country reported 309 confirmed Covid-19 cases on Thursday with 25 deaths, which meant an 8.2 percent fatality rate. 

Experts are concerned the real figures might be much higher amid the government's plodding approach toward testing of the disease