JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia reopens Bali and Riau islands to tourists from 19 countries starting from Thursday, October 14, a senior minister said.
“Following President Joko Widodo’s instruction, we have given permission to 19 countries to be able to travel to Indonesia’s Bali and Riau islands,” said Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan on the ministry website Thursday.
The countries consist of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Liechtenstein, Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Poland, Hungary, and Norway.
Luhut, who is also the coordinator of the Covid-19 restrictions on public activities in Java-Bali, said that the countries were chosen based on low positivity rates data issued by the World Health Organization (WHO).
“The list of 19 countries only specifically applies to direct flights to Bali and the Riau islands,” Luhut said.
He hoped that the implementation of reopening Bali to foreign tourists will be done smoothly as the move will be evaluated periodically by the government.
He called on the relevant government ministries and agencies to work closely to immediately complete all technical preparations for the arrival of foreign travelers to Bali. The government through the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) will issue a circular letter regarding the international travel regulations.
The government has decided to shorten the quarantine period to five days from eight days. This will apply to international arrival in Bali, Riau islands, Jakarta, and North Sulawesi’s Manado airports.
“The [five-day] quarantine period does not only apply in Bali and Riau islands, but also at other entry ports by air, land, or sea, and applies to all types of travelers, such as migrant workers, foreign workers, civil servants, Indonesians, and foreigners,” the minister said.
Luhut added that international arrivals via Jakarta and Manado are allowed to visitors from all countries.
Head of the Indonesian Doctors Association’s Covid-19 task force Zubairi Djoerban suggested that international travelers should undergo self-isolation for another seven days after the mandatory five-day quarantine period. This aims to reduce the risk of transmission of the Covid-19 after the quarantine period.
“I recommend international travelers to take seven days of self-isolation at their respective place after taking the five-day quarantine period if they test negative for the Covid-19,” Zubairi told Kompas.com on Thursday.
“This should be taken especially for those who have not been fully vaccinated,” he said.
Zubairi said that the standard quarantine period for international travelers is 14 days.
However, if it is reduced to five days, the possibility of getting infected could reach five percent to 12 percent, he said. The implementation of the five-day quarantine period could be done if Indonesia’s positivity rate is below three percent and the international travelers have been fully vaccinated, he added.
(Writers: Dian Erika Nugraheny, Haryanti Puspa Sari | Editor: Diamanty Meiliana)
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