Jakarta plans to ease quarantine rules for visitors before April
The country is considering allowing quarantine-free travel sooner than expected as Covid-19 cases tend to drop around the vast archipelago.
The government had previously indicated that the country would open up to free quarantine travel on April 1.
“It’s very possible if the current good condition improves further,” Chief Minister Luhut Pandjaitan said, referring to the decision to move quarantine-free travel forward.
“Earlier (today) we discussed what the scenarios could be before reporting back to the president at a Cabinet meeting,” said Luhut, who is responsible for coordinating efforts to curb the spread of the virus. virus in the most populated island of Java and the main tourist island of Bali.
“If all goes well, we plan to do it in the second or third week of March,” he added during a press briefing in Bali on Friday.
The national airline – Garuda Indonesia – and Singapore Airlines have resumed flights to Bali.
Garuda has been flying from and to Tokyo since February 3 and SIA from and to Singapore since February 16.
Since Feb. 3, Bali has received 1,300 incoming passengers, including 700 foreigners and the rest returning Indonesians.
Currently, travelers must serve five days of quarantine, but this will be reduced to three days from March 1. Other airlines such as KLM Royal Dutch, Scoot Tigerair and Jetstar Airways may also resume flights to the resort island, according to the Indonesian government. .
Separately, Health Minister Budi Sadikin said on Friday that Indonesia expects fewer Covid-19 cases soon as the number of daily cases in six major provinces passed its peaks.
The six provinces are Jakarta, Bali, Banten, Nusa Tenggara Barat, Maluku and Papua.
“West Java and East Java are approaching their peak and if the cases in these two provinces peak and then decline, the national number of daily cases in Indonesia will decline,” Budi said.
West Java and East Java, which together have a population of 90 million, are the two most populous provinces in Indonesia.
Like many other countries, Indonesia has reported an increase in Covid-19 cases due to the more transmissible but less severe Omicron variant of Covid-19, with the first confirmed case in the country occurring in mid-December.
The number of daily cases exceeded that recorded in the previous wave blamed on the deadlier Delta variant.
But the number of hospitalized patients is now only a fraction of those of the Delta wave.
Only 38,164 cases were hospitalized on Thursday, including 2,829 – mainly people with underlying health conditions, the elderly or unvaccinated – in intensive care units.
Daily hospitalizations peaked at 93,256 patients in mid-July during the Delta wave, including 8,179 requiring intensive care. —The Straits Times/ANN