Despite the emergence of more infectious coronavirus strains around the globe, Indonesia was yesterday years old and already devastated by various COVID-19 variants when it finally decided to step up its border control measures.
Yesterday, Justice and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly announced the publication of Ministerial Regulation No. 27/2021 that covers border restrictions. Under the new set of rules, most foreign arrivals are still banned during the implementation of the Enforcement of Restrictions on Public Activities (PPKM), but with fewer exemptions than before.
Now, the ban has been extended to include foreigners who are employed in national strategic projects, as well as those who were afforded entry into Indonesia to be united with their families.
“Foreigners who can enter Indonesian territory are holders of the Diplomatic Visa and the Service Visa, holders of the Diplomatic Stay Permit and Service Stay Permit, holders of the Temporary Stay Permit and the Permanent Stay Permit, foreigners on health and humanitarian missions,” Yasonna said when announcing the new regulation.
Those who are exempted from the ban are still required to obey health protocols, including mandatory PCR testing prior to and upon arrival in Indonesia, as well as mandatory hotel quarantine.
The new rules are in effect for as long as PPKM is in effect. The current iteration of PPKM is being enforced until July 25, but will likely be extended for as long as the country’s devastating COVID-19 outbreak does not slow down.
Indonesia first shut its borders at the onset of the pandemic in 2020, and restrictions on foreign arrivals have been subject to various revisions. While visits for leisure have officially been banned throughout, one of the latest policy changes in April 2021 allowed foreigners with Indonesian spouses and family to enter the country as part of a reunification concession.