JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Several countries announced a ban on scheduled flights from Indonesia, the worst-affected country by Covid-19 in Southeast Asia, as the total number of cases amounted to more than 2.5 million since last year.
Kompas.com reported that at least four countries comprising United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Hong Kong banned entry by international travelers from Indonesia.
Singapore, however, tightens border measures for travelers from Indonesia by reducing entry approvals for non-Singapore citizens and permanent residents with immediate effect. Those who have a travel history to Indonesia within the last 21 days will also not be allowed to transit through Singapore. However, entry approvals may be considered where additional safe management measures are taken.
“Given the worsening situation in Indonesia, we will tighten our border measures for travelers from Indonesia by reducing entry approvals for non-Singapore Citizens/ Permanent Residents with immediate effect,” Kompas.com quoted Singapore’s Ministry of Health website on Saturday, July 10.
Currently, all travelers entering Singapore with recent travel history to Indonesia within the last 21 days prior to departure for Singapore will need to present a valid negative Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test taken within 72 hours before departure for Singapore. With effect from July 12, such travelers will instead be required to present a valid negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours before departure for Singapore, the website said.
The United Arab Emirates
The UAE authority imposed its ban on entry for travelers from Indonesia on Sunday, July 11 until further notice. It prohibited all scheduled flights from Indonesia and travelers with travel history to Indonesia in the last 14 days before they arrived in the UAE.
“The UAE announces the suspension of entry for travelers from Indonesia and Afghanistan on all flights on national and foreign carriers as well as for transit passengers coming from these countries starting from Sunday, July 11, 2021, at 23:59 [local time],” Kompas.com quoted the official Instagram account of the Indonesian Embassy in Abu Dhabi on Monday, July 12.
However, the UEA authority said that the transit and cargo flights between the two countries will continue to operate.
Flights in transit to Indonesia and Afghanistan are exempt from the ban. There are some exemptions for persons returning to the UAE, including for Emirati nationals and business people who have prior approval. Emirati citizens, diplomatic passport holders, and official delegations are exempt from the measure. These travelers must present a negative Covid-19 PCR test result before their departure. The Covid-19 test must be carried out 48 or 72 hours before the flights.
Oman has suspended entry for flights from Indonesia as the country battles against a surge in Covid-19 infections following the spread of the delta variant. Besides Indonesia, Oman has also banned entry for flights from Singapore, Iraq, Iran, Tunisia, Libya, Argentine, Colombia, and Brunei Darussalam and arrivals from any other country if they have passed through any of the aforementioned countries during the previous 14 days preceding their request to enter Oman.
According to omanairports.co.om, Omani citizens, diplomats, healthcare professionals, and their families are exempt from the suspension.
All travelers coming to Oman on long international flights, including transit, are required to submit of pre-travel negative Covid-19 PCR test, undergo quarantine for a week, take another Covid-19 test after a week and download the Covid-19 tracking application Tarassud+ that is widely used in the Middle East.
Hong Kong has also banned entry for flights from Indonesia starting from June 25 following passengers who contracted the Covid-19 upon their arrival in the country.
In line with that, the Hong Kong authority has categorized Indonesia into A1 status or country with the high-risk transmission of Covid-19. Other countries that are also categorized into A1 status comprise India, Nepal, Pakistan, and the Philippines.
Since February, Saudi Arabia has also temporarily banned the entry for flights from 20 countries, including Indonesia. Those who are exempt from the suspension include Saudi Arabia citizens, diplomats, and healthcare professionals, and their families. These travelers are required to undergo 14-day quarantine upon arrival in the country.
(Writer: Rahel Narda Chaterine | Editor: Diamanty Meiliana)
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