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Jakarta Post

Indonesia to waive overstay penalty for Chinese tourists amid travel ban

  • Marchio Irfan Gorbiano

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, February 5, 2020   /   07:27 pm
Indonesia to waive overstay penalty for Chinese tourists amid travel ban Chinese tourists, some wearing facemasks as a preventative measure following a coronavirus outbreak which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan, walk after arriving from Nusa Penida at the fast boat pier in Serangan island in Denpasar, on Indonesia's resort island of Bali on January 26, 2020. (AFP/Sonny Tumbelaka)

Indonesia’s immigration office will not penalize Chinese tourists and workers who have overstayed their visas as a result of a recent travel ban, Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto has said.

The government has temporarily halted all flights coming to and from China as part of ongoing efforts to prevent a deadly new coronavirus from entering the archipelago.

“We will allow them to overstay [their visas] for up to one month,” Airlangga told reporters on Tuesday.

Airlangga said that in support of government policies related to immigration, the government would create hotlines for nine ministries, including the Transportation Ministry, Health Ministry and Manpower Ministry.

It would also create hotlines for the Finance Ministry, especially in regards to matters related to its Customs and Excise Directorate General, as well as the Indonesian Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM).

The Chinese consul general in Denpasar, Bali, Guo Haodong, previously said that China respected Indonesia's travel ban, but around 5,000 people were at risk of being stranded on the island as a result.

Besides suspending flights, Indonesia has also suspended visa-free and visa-on-arrival provisions for Chinese citizens, who made up the second-highest number of foreign tourist visits to Indonesia last year, behind only Malaysia. (syk)