In a major relief for tourists, Indonesia dropped its quarantine requirement for vaccinated overseas travelers on March 21.
The decision was taken in light of the improving situation in the country and the containment of COVID-19. This effectively ends the two-year border closure.
Everything you need to know about the lifting of travel restrictions in Indonesia
Quarantine removal effective immediately
At a press conference, Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno said the decision is effective immediately.
“With the management of the pandemic more controlled…we are announcing today that the no-quarantine policy has been extended to all of Indonesia,” Uno said.
However, the minister added that a negative COVID-19 test result is still a requirement to enter the country.
Decision taken following successful trial
The move follows the successful two-week quarantine waiver trial program for the islands of Bali, Batam and Bintan.
Expressing hope for Indonesia’s struggling tourism industry, the minister said, “We are now preparing for the transition to a new post-pandemic economic order, and we will achieve this normalization in the coming months.”
Uno added that the process of helping the economy expand will continue if things remain normal after Eid.
He also informed the press that the visa-on-arrival program has been extended to a total of 42 countries from March 21.
Why the decision was necessary
The reopening of the border and travel comes well in time for Indonesia to prepare for the G-20 summit, to be held in October 2022 in Bali.
Other Southeast Asian countries have already waived quarantine requirements for travelers to boost their respective economies, some of which rely heavily on tourism. These include Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.
Meanwhile, countries like Thailand and Cambodia have relaxed testing rules.
Tourism is important for Southeast Asia. According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), tourism accounted for 12.1% of the region’s GDP in 2019.
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This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore