Officials at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport say they have raised COVID-19 testing capacity as an increasing number of travelers arrive in Jakarta after the government erased quarantine mandates.
One TikTok from March 27 went viral recently, showing a sea of travelers cramming the arrivals section of Terminal 3. The poster claimed they landed at 2pm but only managed to leave the terminal, which predominantly serves international flights, at 5:24pm.
ngak usah tanya bagaimana keadaan saat ini 😶♬ suara asli – Citra Pasaribu
Soekarno-Hatta Executive General Manager Agus Haryadi said the crowd was the result of an influx of international travelers queuing for PCR tests at the airport at the time.
“It was caused by the rush of international arrivals that touch down from 2pm-5pm,” he said, adding that Soekarno-Hatta now receives an average of 5,000 foreign travelers per day.
On March 28, airport officials moved the testing area to a hallway after the immigration and customs checks, which would not disrupt the flow of passengers. The airport has also employed more healthcare workers to perform the tests.
As of March 23, fully-vaccinated and boosted international travelers (including returning Indonesians) may skip quarantine upon arrival in Indonesia. They are, however, required to take a PCR test and wait for the result, which normally comes out in one day, at a hotel or any other form of accommodation, details for which must be provided to officials. They may freely carry out their business in Indonesia as soon as they receive a negative test result.
Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travelers are required to quarantine for five days.
Another factor in the spike of international arrivals is the reactivation of the visa on arrival (VOA) scheme. The program has been expanded to Soekarno-Hatta Airport following a successful trial in Bali.