Indonesia announced that it will extend temporary closure of its borders to all foreign travelers, which is now set to last at least until Jan. 28.
The decision comes following the country’s new COVID-19 restrictions called Enforcement of Restrictions on Public Activities (PPKM), which is set to tighten restrictions throughout Java and Bali, from today to at least Jan. 25.
The extension was confirmed by the Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto, who heads the COVID-19 Handling and Economic Recovery Committee.
“It is known that the government will increase restrictions on public activities between January 11-25, but before that the President agreed to extend the ban on foreign nationals from entering Indonesia,” Airlangga said in a press conference that was broadcasted live on YouTube today.
Airlangga emphasized the importance of PPKM by noting how cases of COVID-19 continue to spike following the long weekend in late October and the year-end holiday, which consequently led to these new efforts to control people’s mobility and reduce spread of the coronavirus.
In late December, the Foreign Affairs Ministry announced shutting of the borders from Jan. 1 to 14, in its bid to protect the country from the new fast-spreading variant of the coronavirus, which was first detected in the UK in September but only announced on Dec. 14.
The policy states that the only exceptions to the policy are official visits from foreign ministers or higher-ranked politicians.
As of Jan. 11, Indonesia has reported 836,718 COVID-19 cases, 123,636 of which were active cases. The country’s death rate from the disease currently stands at 24,343, while 688,739 have recovered.