By Bright Ntramah
The President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo has removed Covid-19 testing requirements for fully-vaccinated overseas travelers to the country. This follows an improvement in the Covid-19 situation in the world’s fourth-most populous country with a population of more than 270 million inhabitants.
Wearing of nose masks outdoors has also become optional except for crowded outdoor areas, indoor activities, and public transport.
Announcing the latest relaxed restrictions on the pandemic in Jakarta, President Widodo added that the elderly, those having underlying health conditions or exhibiting symptoms of a cold, are encouraged to still wear face masks.
The decision comes after neighbouring Singapore ended most of its Covid-19 virus curbs with Malaysia also relaxing its mask mandate.
Indonesia will keep its remaining virus restrictions until May 23 when the government would evaluate whether the rules are still needed. Covid-19 cases in the world’s fourth-most populous nation have been easing, even reaching this year’s low in early May, as death tolls also fall drastically.
Confirming the announcement in an interview in Accra, the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Indonesia in Ghana, H.E. Paskal A.B.Rois said the relaxed restrictions as announced by the President of Indonesia, were very welcoming. According to him, many Ghanaians including businessmen and women had been knocking at the doors of the Consulate in order to acquire Visas to travel to Indonesia either for business ventures or private tours but were unsuccessful due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.
Mr. Rois was of the view that the relaxed protocols would enable such prospective visitors and the business community in Ghana to visit Jakarta in order to pursue their business, tourism and other dreams.
The Honorary Consul touched on the tourism potential of Indonesia, saying it consists of over 17,000 islands including Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, and parts of Borneo and New Guinea. According to him, there are tourist areas such as Bali and its forest seaside resort of Kuta. Bali, with its beautiful island beaches, is arguably Indonesia’s most popular vacation spot which has a number of cultural landmarks and traditions that make any visit to that site worthwhile, the Honorary Consul emphasized.
Consul Paskal A.B. Rois emphasized that the Republic of Indonesia re-opened the country for international tourists on 12th January 2022 and encouraged all Ghanaians to take advantage of the latest relaxed Covid-19 restrictions to visit Indonesia.
He gave the assurance that the Consulate is ready to assist anyone to acquire the necessary documents including Visa to travel to Indonesia for business ventures and other purposes. According to him, his outfit would also assist any first-time visitor to Indonesia to get to any destination of his or her choice within the Republic of Indonesia, emphasizing, ‘it is open and now easier for people to travel to Indonesia’.
Indonesia recorded a total of four million tourists in 2020. In 2021, there were about 1.56 million international visitor arrivals in Indonesia. The number significantly decreased in comparison to the previous year’s due to the Covid-19 travel restrictions