Indonesia has certainly handled its fair share of foreigners defying COVID-19 protocols all throughout the pandemic, but two UK nationals arguing that they should be allowed to skip the country’s quarantine requirements based on “nature’s law” might just be the strangest one yet.
The two foreigners, identified as ODE (39) and MM (32), were deported from the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta on Wednesday night, after they escaped from quarantine earlier this month. They are prohibited from visiting Indonesia for at least a year.
In a video uploaded to their Instagram account, the immigration office at Soekarno-Hatta described ODE and MM as “delusional.”
“The two consider the quarantine system for foreigners in Indonesia to be very silly. They believe that every human being has the freedom to go anywhere based on nature’s law, which has a higher hierarchy than the law of any government,” a text on the video reads.
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All foreign arrivals are required to undergo a five-day quarantine upon arriving in Indonesia, but the two reportedly escaped during their taxi ride to the hotel on May 7 when they told the driver that they needed to use the restroom.
Expecting them to cooperate with the quarantine requirements, the driver made a quick stop, only to find that the two made a run for it while leaving their luggage behind.
Airport authorities then launched a search for ODE and MM, and they were finally arrested in Bogor, West Java on May 21. Adi Ferdian, who heads the Soekarno-Hatta Airport Police, said the pair moved around and stayed at different hotels since their escape.
“They tried to escape by reasoning that they did not have money for a hotel. They didn’t have enough money,” Adi previously said.