COVID-19 Task Force Issues Addendum Number 8/2021 on Health Protocols for International Travel
Chairperson of the COVID-19 Task Force Ganip Warsito on Sunday (4/7) has issued Addendum to Circular Number 8 of 2021on Health Protocols for International Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic to take effect on Tuesday (6/7). [More details on Circular of the Task Force Number 8/2021 can be accessed here]
The Addendum was made due to the drastic surge in COVID-19 and new COVID-19 variants cases in several countries, including Indonesia. For that reason, the Government has taken a quick response through a number of provisions for international travelers entering the Indonesian territory to protect Indonesian citizens from imported COVID-19 cases.
“The issuance of this Addendum to the Circular aims to implement stricter health protocols for international travelers with the purposes of monitoring, controlling, and evaluating to prevent an increase in the spread of COVID-19, including the mutated SARS-CoV-2 variants, such as Alpha, Beta, Delta, Gamma, and potential for the development of other new virus variants,” Ganip said in his virtual press statement, Sunday (4/7).
For the record, the scope of the Addendum remains the same as the previous one, that is, the international travelers. There are also changes in several provisions and an extra provision that applies to all international travelers.
Several amended provisions on the Addendum are as follows:
3. All international travelers, both Indonesian Citizens (WNI) and Foreign Citizens (WNA) must comply with the following conditions/requirements:
c. Upon arrival, international travelers are required to carry out a Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test and undergo 8×24 hours mandatory quarantine, with the following conditions:
1) For Indonesian citizens, namely Indonesian Migrant Workers (PMI); students/college students; or Government employees returning from official overseas trips in accordance with Decree of Head of the COVID-19 Task Force Number 11 of 2021 on Entry Points for Quarantine Facility, and RT-PCR Obligations for Indonesian Citizens as International Travelers and the costs are borne by the Government.
2) For Indonesian citizens excluded from the requirements as referred to in number 1) and for foreign citizens, including foreign diplomats, other than head of the foreign representative and the family of head of the foreign representative, must undergo self-paid quarantine in a quarantine location specified by Ministry of Health.
d. In the event that head of the foreign representative and family serving in Indonesia can undergo self-quarantine at their respective residences within 8×24 hours as referred to in letter c;
g. For Indonesian citizens and foreigners, a second RT-PCR test is carried out on the 7th day of quarantine;
g bis. In the event that the RT-PCR retest as referred to in letter g shows a negative result, then after 8×24 hours quarantine, Indonesian citizens and foreign citizens can end their quarantine;
h. In the event of a negative result as referred to in letter g bis, Indonesian citizens and foreign citizens are allowed to continue their trip and are recommended to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine and observe health protocols; and
i. In the event of a positive result as referred to in letter g bis, the treatment is carried out in a hospital for Indonesian citizens at the cost borne by the Government and foreign citizens must independently pay out the treatment.
The Addendum also adds the following provision:
5. All international travelers, both Indonesian citizens and foreigners, must comply with the following conditions/requirements:
a. Indonesian citizens are required to present vaccination cards or certificates (physical or digital) with a complete dose of COVID-19 vaccine as a requirement to enter Indonesia, and in the event that Indonesian citizens have not received the vaccine abroad, they will be vaccinated at the quarantine location upon arrival in Indonesia after the second RT-PCR test is carried out and shows negative results;
b. Foreign citizens are required to present a complete dose of COVID-19 vaccine certificates (physical or digital) as a requirement to enter Indonesia;
c. Foreign citizens who are already in Indonesia and will travel, both domestically and internationally, are required to get vaccinated through a vaccination program or mutual cooperation scheme in accordance with the laws and regulations; and
d. The obligation to present COVID-19 vaccination cards or certificates (physical or digital) is excluded for foreign citizens holding diplomatic visas and service visas related to official/state visits of foreign officials at a ministerial level and above and foreign citizens who enter Indonesia with the travel corridor arrangement scheme, in accordance with the principle of reciprocity while still implementing strict health protocols.
Regarding monitoring, control, and evaluation, Ganip said that there is no change from the Addendum.
“This addendum to the Circular will take effect on 6 July 2021 until indefinite time which will later be determined. This Addendum will be further reviewed according to the latest developments on the ground and the evaluation results of ministries/institutions,” he added.
In the meantime, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Mahendra Siregar said that the Addendum was issued to harmonize a host of new regulations to comply with the Implementation of the Java-Bali Emergency Restrictions (PPKM Darurat) that has been in effect since 3 July 2021.
“The arrangements related to the health protocols for international travel were made in order to align with the Emergency PPKM regulations,” he said, adding that his office has also disseminated the policy to other relevant stakeholders.
“The bill and decisions of Addendum to Circular Number 8 of 2021 have been communicated and disseminated to foreign countries through Indonesian representatives abroad, as well as representatives of foreign countries and international organizations residing in Indonesia to be anticipated and implemented since 6 July 2021,” he remarked. (FID/DND/UN) (RIF/MUR)