Indonesia’s Borders to Remain Shut Until Jan. 28

Business travelers from Singapore and China looking to visit the country this month have no choice but to further postpone their trips.

Sunset at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. (Photo: Yayaq Destination/Unsplash)

Indonesia has extended its temporary ban on foreign arrivals and transit passengers for another two weeks, forcing the continued suspension of the quarantine-free Reciprocal Green Lane with neighboring Singapore. Other travel corridor arrangements negotiated between Indonesia and China, South Korea, and the UAE have also been affected.

At a virtual press conference yesterday, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartanto said President Joko Widodo had agreed to lengthen the ban, which was meant to expire on January 14, by another 14 days. This means that no foreign nationals will be allowed in, except for high-level government officials and passengers with KITAS or KITAP permits, until the end of the month. All those eligible to enter the country must carry a printed medical certificate of a negative result from a PCR test conducted within 48 hours of their flight departure; incoming travelers will undergo a second PCR test on arrival. Indonesian citizens who are cleared of the virus are then sent to dedicated facilities for a five-day quarantine, while foreign nationals must self-isolate in a hotel at their own expense.

The blanket travel ban took effect on New Year’s Day and was imposed to prevent the introduction of a highly contagious new variant of the virus in the United Kingdom that has since cropped up around the world. Neither the U.K. strain nor the South African mutation have so far been detected in Indonesia, though skeptics say that may be down to low testing rates and the inability of most laboratories to carry out whole genome sequencing on samples of the virus.

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