Indonesia is shutting its borders to all foreign visitors for the first two weeks of 2021, the Foreign Affairs Ministry announced today, in its bid to prevent an outbreak of a new strain of the coronavirus.
Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi made the announcement this afternoon as Indonesia seeks to protect itself from the new fast-spreading variant of the coronavirus, which was first detected in the UK in September but only announced on Dec. 14.
“It has been decided in a high-level meeting on the Dec. 28 that our borders will temporarily shut from Jan. 1 to 14, 2021 to foreigners from all countries,” Retno said during a press conference.
The policy states that the only exceptions to the policy are official visits from foreign ministers or higher-ranked politicians.
International travelers arriving between today and Dec. 31 must present a negative PCR test result obtained at most two days before their departure. Upon arrival in Indonesia, they will be required to undergo a follow-up PCR test and be placed in a government-assigned quarantine facility for five days. After quarantine, they will have to undergo another PCR test and will be free to go on their way if the result comes out negative.
Indonesians are allowed to travel home between Jan. 1 to 14, but will have to undergo the same thorough testing and quarantine measures foreigners are subjected to between Dec. 28-31.
The ministry’s policy updates a circular from the COVID-19 task force, which was published earlier today, that only banned travelers from the UK from entering holiday during and after the holiday period. It was Indonesia’s first specific ban on UK travelers since the latter announced the new strain of the coronavirus two weeks ago.