Indonesia relaxes mask mandates, scraps traveller testing rule

Masks are still required for crowded outdoor areas, indoor activities and on public transport. - Reuters

JAKARTA (Bloomberg): Indonesia will make wearing masks outdoors optional and remove testing requirement for fully-vaccinated overseas travelLers as the local virus situation improves.

Masks are still required for crowded outdoor areas, indoor activities and on public transport, President Joko Widodo said in a Tuesday speech. Those who are elderly, have underlying health conditions or symptoms of a cold are encouraged to still wear masks, he added.

The decision comes after neighboUring Singapore ended most of its virus curbs and Malaysia also relaxed its mask mandate.

Indonesia is set to keep its remaining virus restrictions until at least May 23, when the government will evaluate whether the rules are still needed. The curbs mostly set limits on capacity and opening hours.

Indonesia will monitor whether cases start to pick up after more than 85 million people travelled across the country during the week-long Eid al-Fitr break in early May, as previous holiday periods have been followed by a resurgence in coronavirus infections.

So far, Covid-19 cases in the world’s fourth-most populous nation have been easing, even reaching this year’s low in early May, as deaths also fall.

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