The government has decided to reduce the mandatory quarantine period from five to three days, starting on March 1.
Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan announced the move during an online press briefing on Monday, adding however that it only applied to foreign travelers and Indonesian returnees who had received a COVID-19 booster vaccine.
“Entry and exit PCR tests will still apply,” he told the media, adding that travelers were also encouraged to take a PCR test on the fifth day after they arrive in Indonesia and report the result to a healthcare facility.
Luhut went on to say that Indonesia may end the travel quarantine requirement altogether on April 1, assuming the COVID-19 situation in the country “keeps getting better.”
“Because COVID-19 is still manageable despite the rising number of cases […] we will reduce the mandatory quarantine to just three days. This is good news for those in the tourist sector,” Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto said in a separate event on Monday.
The daily number of deaths from COVID-19 reached triple digits on Friday, a level not seen since late September last year, when the country was dealing with a wave of infections with the Delta variant.
National COVID-19 task force data show that 145 people lost their lives due to the coronavirus on Monday.
The decision to cut the quarantine period comes just in time for the opening of the international MotoGP race in Mandalika, West Nusa Tenggara, in March.
Previously, the government had reduced the quarantine period from seven to five days effective from Feb. 4, in an effort to boost tourism, especially in Bali.
That policy change came ahead of Indonesia hosting Group of 20 (G20) events in Jakarta, Bali and other places. The main event – the G20 summit – is to be held in Bali in October, around 18,000 delegates are expected to attend these events.
Indonesia was set to welcome around 100 tourists from Singapore on Feb. 16, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno revealed on Monday. He added that the Singapore-Batam and Bintan travel bubble would start on Feb. 18.
“The good news is that our hospitals are not overwhelmed because of COVID-19,” he said. “However, we have received reports that [compliance with] health protocols is declining, so do wear your mask and get a booster shot, because vaccines and the protocols are the key to recovery.”