The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that Indonesia is still implementing an entry ban for foreign nationals from a number of countries.
The statement was made after Malaysia officially banned Indonesian citizens from entering the country on Monday, due to the increasing number of cases of COVID-19.
The Director for the Protection of Indonesian Citizens and Indonesian Legal Entities at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Judha Nugraha, stated that the ban is only temporary.
“Apart from Indonesia, the Philippines, and India, countries that are also on the list include the United States, the UK, Saudi Arabia, France, Italy, Russia, Bangladesh, Spain, and Brazil,” said Judha.
Malaysia is still adding to the list of countries whose citizens are prohibited from entering. This prohibition is in place for countries with more than 150,000 cases of coronavirus infection.
A total of 59 countries have a ban on entry from Indonesians, including Hungary, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, Brunei Darussalam, Australia, and South Africa.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi has said that the bans are the right of the respective governments. She explained that the government has also implemented a similar policy, namely limiting general entry access for foreign nationals in order to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
The Indonesian government is trying to lobby other countries to loosen its regulations so that Indonesian citizens can re-enter. However, many countries still refuse or have not responded.
The bans are not only due to the high case numbers in Indonesia. Some countries also take into account the ability of the Indonesian government to handle the outbreak. Retno added that the easing was not open to Indonesian citizens in general, but for business visits in national strategic projects and urgent government official trips.
“Indonesia also prohibits foreigners from entering,” said a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Teuku Faizasyah.
This prohibition is contained in the regulation of the Minister of Law and Human Rights of the Republic of Indonesia number 11 of 2020, concerning the temporary prohibition of foreigners from entering the territory of the Republic of Indonesia. The regulation, which was established 31st March 2020 and is still in force, was made in an attempt to “increase efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Indonesian territory, it is necessary to temporarily ban foreigners from entering the territory of the Republic of Indonesia.”
However, the prohibition exempts foreigners who hold limited and permanent stay permits, diplomatic and service visas; foreigners holding diplomatic and official stay permits; medical aid and support personnel entering for humanitarian reasons; conveyance crew; and foreigners who will work on national strategic projects. Those who can enter must have a health certificate and may be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine.
Faiza explained that essential business and official needs are arranged through a travel corridor agreement with three countries, namely the United Arab Emirates, China, and South Korea. This agreement does not apply to tourism and frees travellers from the need for 14 days of quarantine.