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Jakarta Post

COVID-19: Indonesia bars people from hardest-hit regions in Iran, South Korea, Italy

  • Apriza Pinandita

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, March 5, 2020   /   03:17 pm
COVID-19: Indonesia bars people from hardest-hit regions in Iran, South Korea, Italy People wait in line to buy face masks outside a supermarket in Seoul on March 4, 2020. - South Korea reported 142 more novel coronavirus cases on March 4, a significantly lower increase than the day before, taking its total to 5,328 -- the largest in the world outside China. (AFP/Jung Yeon-je)

Indonesia announced on Thursday new travel restrictions for people with a history of travel from coronavirus-hit regions of Iran, South Korea and Italy in the wake of a significant surge of COVID-19 cases globally.

The temporary ban, which will come into effect on Sunday, would prevent people who had visited certain regions in the three countries in the last 14 days from visiting or transiting in Indonesia, Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said.

“After reviewing a report from the World Health Organization [WHO], there has been an increase of cases outside China, especially in three countries: Iran, Italy and South Korea,” Retno told journalists in her office on Thursday. 

“Therefore, Indonesia is to temporarily impose a new policy for travelers from those countries,” she added. 

The policy will affect people who have a recent history of travel to Tehran, Qom and Gilan in Iran; Lombardi, Venetto, Emilia-Romagna, Marche and Piedmont regions in Italy; as well as Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do in South Korea.

“Travelers from Iran, Italy and South Korea who come from outside of the aforementioned regions will need to provide a valid health certificate that is accredited and issued by the health authorities,” Retno said, adding that the document must be shown during check-in. 

“Without a health certificate, travelers will be denied entry or transit in Indonesia,” the minister went on.

Passengers entering Indonesia from the three countries — all of which have recorded thousands of COVID-19 cases, the most after China — are required to fill in a health alert card (HAC) issued by the Indonesian Health Ministry.

Especially for Indonesian citizens, those who arrived in the archipelago from the aforementioned regions in Iran, South Korea and Italy, would be required to undergo additional medical examinations at the port of entry, Retno said. 

The policy will enter into force at midnight on Sunday, March 8, and will continue to be evaluated in accordance with global developments, Retno said.

On Wednesday, the WHO recorded 2,223 new cases of COVID-19 infections worldwide and another 48 deaths outside China. The number of affected countries has reached 76, with Argentina, Chile, Poland and Ukraine having just reported their first cases of the virus.