Bali and Riau Islands Open to International Tourists

LAMANRIAU.COM, JAKARTA – The Coordinator of the Expert Team and Government Spokesperson for Handling Covid-19, Wiku Adisasmito said foreign nationals from 19 countries who could travel to Indonesia were only allowed to go to two provinces that had been set, namely Bali and Riau Islands.

“Technically, foreign tourists to Indonesia are only allowed to enter Indonesia from the airport in Bali and the Riau Islands to travel in these two provinces as areas that will run a simulation of health protocols in the tourism sector for foreign tourists,” Wiku said at a virtual press conference about “Development of Handling Covid-19 in Indonesia” Thursday, October 14, 2021.

The 19 countries are Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), New Zealand, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Liechtenstein, Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Poland, Hungary and Norway.

Therefore, to oversee the supervision of the domestic mobility of foreign tourists in Indonesia, Wiku said it would be the responsibility of the local government to administer the simulation of health protocols and their buffer areas to monitor movement in accordance with existing policies.

Furthermore, Wiku explained, the decision to shorten the quarantine duration for international travelers from 8×24 to 5×24 hours and to expand foreign nationals entering Indonesia to increase economic growth in line with the efforts to control cases that have been carried out.

Wiku emphasized that the decision resulted from careful consideration of various experts and practitioners in the relevant sector. From a health perspective, the condition of Covid-19 cases in Indonesia is classified as under control.

The considerations are: First, the transmission of the virus in the community is low, namely 3.01 cases per 100,000 population and 0.49 hospitalization cases per 100,000 population and 0.16 deaths per 100,000 population.

Second, based on the response capacity which is quite good, namely 0.67% positivity rate per week, 12.46 close contact ratio per confirmed case and 55.57 bed occupancy ratio (BOR) per week.

According to Wiku, scientifically adding entry and exit tests can reduce the chance of post-quarantine transmission for 5 days. Meanwhile, from an economic perspective, such as the disease pandemic and other crises in 2000, the global tourism sector felt a negative impact due to the policy of restricting mobility and social distancing.

“There has never been a crisis that has had a significant impact on the Covid-19 pandemic. The World Bank even states that the tourism sector accounts for 10% of global gross domestic product and is the job of 1 in 10 people in the world,” he said.

Wiku said, if you look more broadly at the effects of social restrictions so far the impact on various tourism values such as airlines, hotels, restaurants, tour operators, food suppliers, farmers, retailers and various small and medium businesses and others.

For this reason, mitigating the risk of transmission as much as possible by updating the policy, including reducing the duration of quarantine from 8 days to 5 days, will be effective in suppressing cases if travelers take 6 steps.

First, international travelers are required to carry out quarantine. Second, international travelers are required to apply health protocols during the quarantine period. Third, the local government provides a list of referrals for quarantine facilities. Fourth, the government provides accurate diagnostic test tools. Fifth, the government is increasing efforts to trace close contacts. Sixth, the local government ensures that vaccination coverage is met.

“I would like to invite all parties, both officers in the field and travelers to comply with the existing rules. In principle, we are able to survive and be active in activities like this before the pandemic as long as we can achieve high collective health protocol compliance,” he said.

He added that periodic monitoring and evaluation is important to ensure that the rules are well implemented in the field and enforced indiscriminately to suppress the potential for Covid-19 transmission as much as possible. (BRS)

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