JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia is taking further steps to secure its borders by barring all foreign citizens from entering the country in the beginning of 2021, after a new strain of Covid-19 was detected in the United Kingdom (UK) at the end of this year.
“The government will bar foreign nationals from countries around the world entry to Indonesia between January 1 and January 14 2021,” said Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi on Monday, December 28.
“The ban is applied because of the highly transmissible nature of the new Covid-19 strain, which is more contagious than the current strain of the pandemic. The decision was taken during a cabinet meeting earlier today.”
But Retno added that government officials at the ministerial level or above are exempt from the ban, albeit with tight health protocols. She also pointed out that foreign nationals who arrived in Indonesia before January 1, 2021 will be subject to less stringent requirements.
"Foreign citizens who arrived in Indonesia between December 28 and December 31 are required to show negative results on their swab PCR tests from their country of origin at least 48 hours before their departure, once they undergo a health check upon arrival,” Retno pointed out.
“If the tests are negative, they are required to undergo a quarantine for a five-day period from the day of their arrival. If they still tested negative on their RT-PCR test after five days, they are allowed to continue their journey.”
The British government has referred to the new Covid-19 strain as SARS-CoV-2 or VUI-202012/01. 1,018 people have tested positive for the new strain in southern and eastern England since it was detected on December 13.
The strain has been found in a number of countries in the Asia-Pacific region, such as Ausralia, Singapore and South Korea.