Opening Up to Foreign Travelers, Grown-Up Stuff to do During the Pandemic, Govt Ponders Endemic vs Pandemic
Sep 17, 2021 | AmCham Indonesia
Opening to Foreign Travelers
Holders of valid visitor visas, limited stay visas, and APEC Business Travel Cards are now allowed to enter Indonesia, while offshore applications for visitor visas and limited stay visas have finally reopened, under Minister of Law and Human Rights Regulation 34/2021, which replaces Minister of Law and Human Rights Regulation 27/2021.
To apply, foreigners need to provide proof they have been fully vaccinated; a letter stating they are willing to comply with Indonesian health protocols, and proof they have their own travel or health insurance, or a letter stating that they are willing to fund their own treatment should they contract Covid-19 in Indonesia. Foreigners with limited stay permits in Indonesia who cannot yet return to their home country can apply for a new stay permit after they obtain a visitor or limited stay visa.
The Ministry of Transportation has issued three new Circular Letters: 74/2021 (for air travel), 75/2021 (for land travel), and 76/2021 (for sea travel). The new circulars restrict the number of available entry points to the following:
Air travel: Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (Jakarta), Sam Ratulangi Airport (Manado)
Cross-border land travel: Entikong and Aruk (West Borneo)
Sea travel: Batam and Nunukan ports.
To enter the country, travelers are required to provide a negative PCR test result (taken three days before departure), proof of vaccination, and use the PeduliLindungi application to fill in the Indonesian health card or e-HAC. Foreigners are required to pay for their own quarantine and be quarantined for eight days. All travelers will get a PCR test on arrival.
International travel for Indonesian citizens is further regulated in Covid-19 Task Force Circular Letter 12/2021. Indonesian migrant workers (PMI) staying in the country for at least 14 days, students, and civil servants who are coming from abroad through Soekarno-Hatta Airport will be quarantined at Wisma Atlet Pademangan Covid-19 Emergency Hospital, with all expenses paid. Indonesian citizens outside those categories must pay for their own quarantine. Quarantine sites for entry points outside of Soekarno-Hatta will be decided by the respective heads of Regional Covid-19 Task Forces.
The distribution of Moderna vaccines for the third "booster" dose for healthcare workers has not been completed, according to the Ministry of Health. Ministry Spokesperson Siti Nadia Tarmizi. She said only 55 percent of healthcare workers (819,174 people) have been given the booster from the targeted 1,468,764, which was aimed to be completed by the third week of August.
Endemic vs Pandemic: Prof. Wiku Gives Covid-19 Briefing
Covid-19 Task Force Spokesperson Prof. Wiku Adisasmito discussed the Covid-19 situation at an international media briefing, yesterday, Sept 16, even touching on the question of when a pandemic becomes endemic.
He said the current situation is improving, reflected by the declining positivity rate and increase in testing and tracing. However, the government will continue to impose adaptive community activity restrictions (PPKM) and conduct weekly evaluations as long as Covid-19 is still in the country.
At regional and district levels, the government will take into consideration the vaccination achievements of each area. For an area to move up from Level 3 to Level 2, at least 50 percent of the general population and 40 percent of the elderly population must have received the first dose. To move from Level 2 to Level 1, at least 70 percent of the general population and 60 percent of the elderly population must have received the first dose.
The National Food and Drug Control Agency (BPOM) recently gave emergency use authorization (EUA) for three vaccines: Sputnik V, Janssen, and Convidecia. Sputnik V requires two injections with a three-week interval, while Janssen and Convidecia are one-dose jabs.
When asked whether the government plans to treat Covid-19 as endemic as opposed to a pandemic, which presumably will end at some point, Wiku said this depends on whether the low level of cases can be maintained with the gradual opening of economic activities. The government hopes to achieve a fatality rate of less than 2 percent, less than 100,000 active cases, and a positivity rate of less than 5 percent.
A number of countries, including Singapore, have begun treating Covid as an endemic disease that needs to be managed through vaccinations and public health measures.
To watch the whole session click the below picture.
August Trade Surplus Highest Since 2006
After more than a year of a slow economy and tighter import restrictions, Indonesia’s trade surplus in August 2021 was $4.74 billion – the highest since December 2006, according to Statistics Indonesia (BPS). Indonesia's trade balance has been positive since May 2020, and its trade balance for January-August 2021 showed a surplus of $19.17 billion. The surplus was $10.96 billion in the same period in 2020.
Last week we covered how to keep your kids entertained, but now it's time for the grown-ups to have some fun.
Ever thought of learning something new? Being cooped up in the house doesn’t mean you should stay idle. There are many free professional courses available online, where you can learn skills applicable in the workforce and receive a certificate to show off at the end. For longer-term classes, you may want to consider subscribing to online education platforms like MasterClass and SkillShare.
Bust out your microwavable popcorn, call up your friends and loved ones, and host an online streaming party. With numerous over-the-top (OTT) platforms streaming large catalogs of movies and shows, you can easily get up to date with the newest blockbusters while virtually catching up with your friends. Spice things up by incorporating trivia or interactive online call platforms.
If you are looking to do something moderately active, maybe it’s time to implement the KonMari method and declutter your home. Not only will this get your body moving, but it will also ensure a clean environment. Alternatively, aquascaping has become popular among hobbyists in Indonesia – it is the art of creating beautiful underwater displays. The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries has even done a study on aquascapes and posted an article on the benefits and tips for creating an aquascape.
With current regulations relaxing and online meeting fatigue brewing, now is the perfect time to treat yourself to a short trip out. Hutan Kota GBK at Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex is a popular outdoor hangout spot, but be sure to clean up afterwards. Looking for more touristy destinations? A number of locations have reopened on a trial basis and are certified CHSE (cleanliness, health, safety, and environment sustainability) by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy. You can check out all the available spots across 34 provinces in Indonesia at the official Ministry CHSE website.
But regardless of whether you remain indoors or outdoors, be sure to stay healthy, conduct the 3Ms, and abide by good hygiene practices.
Anova Food, North America's leading sushi-quality tuna company, has responded to the Covid-19 pandemic in Bali by donating 1,000 food packages (10 tons of rice) in the Denpasar area. Each package contains 10 kilograms of rice, 2 liters of cooking oil, egg noodles, sardines, and other staples.
The target beneficiaries are Denpasar residents living near Anova's offices and the neighbors of staff members. Anova also worked with Badan Penanggulangan Bencana Daerah (BPBD) through its one-door program.
The first 500 food packages were distributed in Serangan, Renon, Lumintang, Monang Manin, Banjar Pesanggaran Pedungan, Banjar Sari Sidakarya and Banjar Sakah Pemogan.
Another 250 food packages were distributed to those in need living in the same neighborhoods as Anova's staff. Some 200 food packages were also distributed by BPBD, given to I Made Rentin BPBD Bali Head.
The last 50 food packages were distributed to social foundations in Bali including the Wana Seraya nursing home, Darma Jati orphanage, Asholeha Foundation, Semara Putra orphanage, 400 Baith El Christian orphanage and Widya Asih orphanage.
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In these difficult times, our hometown English language newspaper, The Jakarta Post, is more important than ever. Given the difficulties of physical circulation and the economic slump, the Post needs to boost its online subscribers – a goal we heartily support at AmCham Indonesia. Quality English language news is vital for our businesses, our home offices, and the flow of information out of Indonesia. It is for this reason, that we are urging all of our members and readers to subscribe to JP! Information is what will help get us through this crisis. Below is information about how to sign up.
The AmCham Office is on the work-from-home status and all face-to-face meetings and events have been postponed. We are having a number of meetings online using the Zoom platform. You will be notified of virtual meetings as they are scheduled.
What is Your Company Doing on COVID-19?
Please let us know what measures your company may be taking in the form of donations and other assistance to help Indonesia during this time of confusion and concern. Contact [email protected] with your news. We would like to publicize the ways that our AmCham companies are pitching in.
Stay safe, call a doctor if you have a high fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. Stay healthy above all else.
AmCham Update is AmCham's regular newsletter on developments related to the pandemic crisis and other issues in Indonesia. It is edited by AmCham Managing Director A Lin Neumann and written by the AmCham Staff. Paul L Goddard is the Managing Editor