Indonesia bans travelers from South Korea, Iran, and Italy due to coronavirus outbreak

Indonesia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi. Photo: Indonesia Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Indonesia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi. Photo: Indonesia Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Indonesia has restricted access to travelers from South Korea, Iran, and Italy as the archipelago nation moves to tighten its borders against a possible threat from further coronavirus outbreak in the country.

During a press conference this afternoon, Indonesia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that travelers who have been in the following regions of the aforementioned countries within 14 days prior to arrival to Indonesia will be refused entry to the country.

Iran: The cities of Tehran and Qom, as well as Gilan province.
Italy: The regions of Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia Romagna, Marche, and Piedmont.
South Korea: The city of Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do province.

Those traveling to Indonesia from the three countries but had not been in any of the aforementioned regions are required to show a health certificate upon arrival.

Indonesians traveling home from the three countries will be required to submit to health checks upon arrival.

The travel restrictions are set to be enforced on March 8 and will remain in effect for an indeterminate period.

In early February, Indonesia suspended flights going to and coming from China, as well as visa-free and visa-on-arrival provisions for Chinese nationals. The restrictions on visa provisions are also applicable to travelers of other nationalities who have traveled to China within 14 days before arriving in Indonesia.

While the number of new infections in China have stabilized in recent days, South Korea accounts for the largest number of infections outside of China with 5,766 as of today. The virus is rapidly spreading in South Korea, with 438 new cases reported today and the country facing a hospital beds shortage due to a high volume of patients. 

Meanwhile, Italy, which has seen 3,089 infections, has closed all schools and universities as the death toll there has reached 107. In Iran, 2,922 have been infected with the coronavirus, among them 23 MPs.

After weeks of claiming it was free of infections and shielded by prayer, Indonesia finally announced its first two coronavirus cases on March 2 amid growing reports elsewhere involving patients who recently visited the archipelago. However, scientists have expressed concerns that there are actually many more infected in Indonesia, as two infections should be considered a statistical impossibility given the high volume of travelers coming from China — the epicenter of the outbreak — to Indonesia.

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