Indonesia removes ban on foreign arrivals for recovery boost

Indonesia removes ban on foreign arrivals for recovery boost

FILE PHOTO: Travellers wearing protective suits are seen at the Soekarno Hatta International airport, as the country bans the arrival of travellers who have been in eight African countries to curb the spread of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus, in Tangerang, near Jakarta, Indonesia, Nov 29, 2021. (Reuters)
FILE PHOTO: Travellers wearing protective suits are seen at the Soekarno Hatta International airport, as the country bans the arrival of travellers who have been in eight African countries to curb the spread of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus, in Tangerang, near Jakarta, Indonesia, Nov 29, 2021. (Reuters)

Indonesia lifted a ban on all foreign arrivals and kept the required isolation period to 7 days in a bid to keep the economy going, even as local Covid-19 infections continued to climb.

Authorities last week removed all 14 heavily-infected nations from its travel ban list, allowing travellers from countries including South Africa and UK to enter its borders starting from Jan 12, according to a statement by the Covid-19 Task Force.

With restrictions in place, “it will be difficult for cross border movements that are still needed to maintain stability including the national economic recovery,” Spokesman Wiku Adisasmito said in the statement. 

The ban removal came as Southeast Asia’s biggest economy geared up for several international events this year, such as the MotoGP championship in March and the G-20 Summit in November that would generate more international arrivals. 

Indonesia’s daily Covid case rose to a three-month high earlier this week, as the Omicron strain spread across the country and the number of local transmissions exceeded its imported cases. Still, hospitalisation rate and fatalities have remained low as vaccination coverage improved.  

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