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Indonesia Clarifies Foreign Workers Arrivals amid Covid Fallout

July 5, 2021, 11.39 PM

JAKARTA, - The Immigration Department responded to a video showing 20 foreign workers arrivals which drew public criticism as Indonesia has battled a second wave of the Covid-19 infections. 

The video, which went viral after the government imposed emergency Covid-19 measures in Java and Bali on July 3, showed a group of Chinese workers arriving at an airport.

Head of Public Relations and General Affairs of the Directorate-General of Immigration, Arya Pradhana Anggakara, confirmed the arrival of the foreign workers who are employed by PT Huady Nickel-Alloy. The group arrived in Indonesia via the country's entry port at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport near Jakarta on June 25 or a week before the announcement of Emergency Restriction of Public Activities or locally known as Emergency PPKM for Covid-19.

They then continued the journey to their last destination in South Sulawesi at the start of the Emergency PPKM on July 3. The restriction takes place in Java and Bali where the caseload of Covid-19 cases continues to climb.    

Also readIndonesia to Start Enforcing Emergency PPKM in Java and Bali

"The video showing the arrival of 20 foreign workers in Makassar, South Sulawesi is true. They are foreign workers who will work at the National Strategic Project in Bantaeng regency," Angga said in a statement on Sunday, July 4. 

"They landed at Makassar International Airport by Citilink flight QG-426 from Jakarta on Saturday, July 3 at 8:25 pm local time," Angga added.

Angga denied the veracity of the video showing the foreign workers entering Indonesia in July 2021 or when the government imposed the Emergency PPKM. 

Currently, he said, the government is still imposing a ban on foreigners entering Indonesian territory to prevent a spike in the Covid-19 cases after new variants of concerns were found in the country. This prohibition refers to the Regulation of the Minister of Law and Human Rights No.26/2020 on visas and residence permits.

Also readJakarta Tightens PPKM, Extends the Policy in the Capital

"This rule excludes the entry of foreigners for essential purposes such as working on national strategic projects, family unions and humanitarian reasons," said Angga.

Entering Indonesia during emergency PPKM

Regarding foreign entries to Indonesia, Covid-19 Handling Task Force has set an addendum to circular letter No. 8/2021 concerning International Travel Health Protocols during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

"It needs a response from the government to add special provisions for international travelers to Indonesia to protect Indonesian citizens from imported cases," said the head of the Covid-19 Task Force Ganip Warsito in a press statement on Sunday, July 4.

In the letter, it is stated that from July 6, all international travelers are required to carry out RT-PCR retests and to undergo quarantine for eight days upon the arrival.


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