Indonesia Rejects Unvaccinated Foreign Visitors
Jakarta. Indonesia will require all foreign nationals traveling to Indonesia to be fully vaccinated, tested negative for Covid-19, and agree to enter an eight-day quarantine, the government said in a statement on Sunday.
"Starting July 6, 2021, all foreigners who travel to Indonesia must show a vaccine card [proofing them fully vaccinated] and a negative PCR result for Covid-19 before entering Indonesia," Jodi Mahardi, a spokesperson for the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, said in the statement.
Only visiting diplomats and ministerial-level foreign officials were exempted from the requirement, Jodi said,
Jordi said Indonesians returning from abroad do not need to show proof of vaccination. But, they need to prove that they have been tested negative for the virus.
"Both the foreigners and Indonesian citizens will undergo quarantine for eight days. They will also be tested again twice with PCR, namely upon arrival and on the 7th day of the quarantine," Jodi said.
Jordi said they would only be allowed to leave the quarantine should they were tested negative for the virus on the last test. Indonesians citizen who has yet to be vaccinated would also get their first shot before leaving, he said.
The Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment, which President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo tasked to handle the latest Covid-19 spike, considered that a longer quarantine time — from previously five days — would be enough to contain the variant of concerns.
"The median incubation of the SARS-CoV-2 variants Delta and Alpha is four days. Thus, the eight-day quarantine period covers twice the median incubation period of the virus," the ministry wrote in the statement.
"The combination of quarantine and entry-exit testing (days 1 and 7) can prevent post-quarantine transmission, with a probability of transmission less than 0.25 percent," the ministry wrote.
The measure was the government's latest attempt to contain variant Delta, a mutation of SARS-CoV-2 first detected in India, which was considered as the main driver of Covid-19 cases spike in the most populous country in the past two weeks.
Data collected by Oxford-based research institution Our World in Data showed that the Delta variant accounted for about 87 percent of samples sequenced last month.
Indonesia reported more than 27,000 new Covid-19 cases and 555 deaths, a new record high, on Sunday, capping the country's worst week in the pandemic. The country added close to 169,000 new cases last week, up 35 percent from the previous peak just a week earlier.