The Jakarta Post
The Transportation Ministry said on Friday that flights to and from South Korea are still operating despite the East Asian country being an epicenter of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak outside of China.
The government announced on Thursday that Indonesia would temporarily restrict entry for people with a history of travel from the coronavirus-hit countries of Iran, Italy and South Korea in the wake of a significant surge of COVID-19 cases.
The ministry’s air transportation director general, Novie Riyanto, said that the ban was only applicable to tourists from the three countries and not on the flights themselves.
“We only prohibit tourists, but there are no restrictions on flights since they also carry cargo,” he said as quoted by kompas.com.
Novie said the ban only applies to arrivals from certain cities in the countries. He also said the restriction of entry to or transit through Indonesia applies to all migrants or travelers who have been in one of the three countries in the 14 days before their arrival here.
As of Friday, South Korea confirmed a total of 6,284 coronavirus cases, giving it the most in the world outside of China. It also reported seven more deaths, bringing that total to 42.
Meanwhile, Korean Air announced on Thursday that it would suspend all flights between Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten, and Incheon International Airport from Thursday to April 25 because of the virus outbreak.
Previously, Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said the temporary ban would come into effect on Sunday.
She said that travelers from Iran, Italy and South Korea who are coming from places outside of those countries would need to provide valid health certificates by the health authorities and failing to do so would result in them being denied entry to or transit through Indonesia.
This is not the first travel restriction that Indonesia has imposed. The country already implemented a travel ban on visitors coming from China. The decision was made after Beijing imposed a lockdown on the city of Wuhan, the original epicenter of the outbreak.
The government has been stepping up efforts to contain the virus after President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo announced on Monday that two Indonesians had been tested positive for it. (eyc)