JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - 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.
"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.
"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.
"For Indonesian migrant workers, students, government employees who return from official trips abroad, the cost for quarantine places and RT-PCR test will be borne by the government," said Ganip.
For Indonesian citizens outside the mentioned category, they must undergo quarantine at their own expense in a place certified by the Ministry of Health.
"For foreign diplomats and their families in Indonesia, they can perform self-quarantine at their respective residences for 8 x 24 hours," Ganip added.
Furthermore, a second RT-PCR test should be carried out on the seventh day of quarantine. A negative test result allows people to continue their journey, but are advised to self-quarantine for 14 days and apply health protocols.
"In case of confirmed cases, Indonesian citizens will be treated at a designated hospital and the expenses will be borne by the government, while foreigners will have to pay their own expenses," said Ganip.
In addition, all international travelers must also comply with the requirements related to the Covid-19 vaccination. Indonesian citizens and foreigners are required to show a complete dose of the Covid-19 vaccine certificate, both physical and digital upon arrival in Indonesia.
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"If you haven't received a vaccine abroad, you will be vaccinated at a quarantine place upon arrival in Indonesia after the second RT-PCR examination that shows negative results," said Ganip.
For foreigners in Indonesia who will travel both domestically and internationally are required to be vaccinated through the mutual cooperation program scheme according to the law and must show a Covid-19 vaccine certificate.
"There is an exception for foreigners holding diplomatic and service visas related to official visits of foreign officials at ministerial level and above and foreigners who enter Indonesia with the travel corridor scheme while still implementing strict health protocols," said Ganip.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mahendra Siregar said on Sunday the stipulated addendum has been familiarized by Indonesian missions abroad as well as foreign embassies in the country before it will take effect from July 6. Mahendra added the regulations are in line with the Java-Bali emergency measures carried out since July 3.
(Writers: Irfan Kamil, Deti Mega Purnamasari | Editors : Dani Prabowo, Icha Rastika, Bayu Galih)
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