Indonesia Eyes Lifting All Quarantine Requirements in April


Indonesia is considering lifting all quarantine requirements for inbound travelers in April, as Covid-19 hospitalizations and fatality rates remain under control despite a resurgence in cases.

In the mean time, the required quarantine period is reduced to three days from five for incoming travelers who have received a third dose of vaccines starting next week, Luhut Panjaitan, the cabinet minister in charge of the pandemic response in Java and Bali, said in his weekly briefing on Monday. PCR testing requirement will remain in place for those arriving travelers. 

“We need to find that balance between the need to maintain health and the need to maintain the economy,” said Panjaitan. “Hospitalization and death rates have been so much lower than” those suffered during the delta outbreak, he said, adding that the omicron variant of the coronavirus is a lot less deadly than the delta strain, which had overwhelmed the medical system last year. 

Indonesia is following a strategy of trying to live with the virus even as infections continue to spread, opening its borders more freely to those who are eligible. Neighboring Singapore eased testing rules for vaccinated travelers last month. 

Daily infections eased to 36,501 cases on Monday, while fatalities rose to 145, the highest since Sept. 23, according to the health ministry on Monday. That is still much lower compared with over 2,000 deaths recorded in July last year. The national Covid hospitalization rate were around 30%, Panjaitan said. 

The government is also easing capacity restrictions to improve mobility, including increasing office capacity to 50% or more from 25%, Panjaitan said. It will keep monitoring the situation with the intention to loosen curbs further, he said. The government is also adding 

Flag carrier PT Garuda Indonesia is discussing a plan to resume direct flights to and from Australia, Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno said at a separate briefing on Monday.