Indonesia eases visa rules while requiring vaccine passports

JAKARTA, Sept 16 (Bloomberg): Indonesia is allowing foreigners holding more types of visas to enter the country as long as they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Those holding the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation business travel cards, visitors with permits to stay for diplomatic and work purposes, as well as people having limited or permanent rights to stay can enter the country, according to a statement on the immigration office’s website.

Offshore visa applications have also been reopened as of Thursday (Sept 16).

South-East Asia’s largest economy has been shut to most foreign travelers since April last year amid the pandemic, only allowing certain visitors to enter for business essential purposes.

The country had considered reopening its borders multiple times as the travel ban battered its tourism industry, while the threat of new coronavirus variants kept its borders closed.

Indonesia will require proof of full vaccination in visa applications, as well as a statement to ensure that the visitor will comply with all health protocols and has health insurance, or is willing to independently pay for medical costs if they were to contract Covid-19.

The number of Covid-19 cases in Indonesia rose by 3,948 within one day to 4,178,164, with the death toll adding by 267 to 139,682, the country's Health Ministry said on Wednesday night (Sept 15).

According to the ministry, 11,046 more people were discharged from hospitals, bringing the total number of patients recovering from Covid-19 to 3,953,519.

To date, at least 42.96 million people in the country have received two shots of vaccines, while 75.14 million have taken the first doses, the ministry added.

Indonesia is targeting to vaccinate 208.26 million people.- Bloomberg

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