Indonesia has become the latest Asian nation to announce new entry restrictions on Indian citizens.
As India reels from a second wave of coronavirus infections, an increasing number of countries are resorting to travel bans over fears of the spread of new coronavirus variants. The head of Indonesia’s national Covid-19 task force, Airlangga Hartarto, has just announced that all foreign nationals who have traveled to or transited in India within the past 14 days will be denied entry to Indonesia starting from Sunday, April 25.
The decision was made public in a virtual press conference this afternoon, days after local media began questioning why the government was still letting in arrivals from the hard-hit country, while touting a strict ban on domestic travel over the upcoming Lebaran holiday. News outlets across Indonesia have reported that charter flights from India have landed at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport over the past week, with a handful of travelers testing positive for the virus upon arrival.
Airlangga said that Indonesian citizens currently in India will still be allowed to come home, but must then be quarantined for 14 days at a designated hotel separate from other returnees, who typically spend just five days in self-isolation.
Neighboring Singapore has tightened its border measures for travelers from India, with the mandatory 14-day quarantine at dedicated facilities now followed by an extra seven days of self-isolation at home. The Lion City is also reducing the number of entry approvals for non-citizens and permanent residents because of the growing outbreak in the South Asian country. Hong Kong has gone one step further, with permanent residents not exempt from a two-week travel ban on arrivals from India, Pakistan, and the Philippines that began on Tuesday.
The worsening situation in India has been met with a similar response outside Asia. The United Kingdom placed India on its “red list” of high-risk countries in the early hours of this morning, with only British and Irish nationals, alongside those with the right to reside in the U.K., allowed to enter. Across the Atlantic, Canada has just announced an immediate ban on passenger flights from India and Pakistan for the next 30 days. The United States, meanwhile, is advising its citizens against all travel to the country.