Starting from today (2 April), Indonesia has imposed a temporary ban on most foreigners entering the country, in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19.
This is part of the recently passed law—Regulation Number 11 of 2020—issued by the country’s Ministry of Law and Human Rights.
Following the regulation, foreign passengers on international flights who wish to enter or transit via the Soekarno Hatta International Airport from today onwards will be rejected.
This was announced on the Facebook page of the state-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura II.
It mentioned, “Indonesia bans entry of foreigners. Starting from 2 April 2020, 00:00 AM until the end of COVID-19 pandemic. As a preventive measurement over the Covid-19 virus outbreak, Indonesia Government impose travel ban on all the non-citizens to enter or transit in Indonesian territory. (Minister of Law and Human Rights Regulation Number 11, 2020).”
Indonesia has joined the list of other countries who introduced such travel bans after the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 grew exponentially in a short span of time.
According to Indonesia’s Ministry of Health, the country has so far recorded 1,677 cases of the deadly coronavirus and claimed the lives of over 150 people.
“There are exemptions, but in general all foreigners’ visits and transits to Indonesia will be temporarily suspended,” said Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi in an online press briefing on Tuesday.
Diplomatic officials, medical and food supplies as well as crew of land, air and sea transportation will be exempted from this temporary ban. Additionally, foreigners with both limited and permanent residence permits will also be not affected by this ban.
However, they should meet the requirement such as providing a reference letter in English issued by the health institution in their own country. They should also provide a letter stating that they have been outside of the infected area or region for the past 14 days and are willing to be quarantined for 14 days by the government.
As for tourists whose visitor’s visas have expired, they will also be allowed to stay in Indonesia without having to apply for an extension at an immigration office.
This latest regulation by the Indonesian government is also temporarily ceasing the approval of free visitor visas and visas on arrival.
The government is taking this safety measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus infection, and is expected to last until the government declares an end of the pandemic.
It is a step taken after President Joko Widodo requested to evaluate the entry and exit points of foreigners into the country in a closed meeting last Tuesday.
“Several countries that have been able to flatten the curve of COVID-19 spread, now have to face a new challenge called the new wave of COVID-19. China, South Korea, and Singapore have encountered with imported cases as, the cases that come from overseas,” he said.