THE COORDINATING Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment as well as the Coordinator of the Java-Bali Implementation of restrictions on community activities (PPKM), Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said 19 countries were allowed to enter Indonesia on the principle of reciprocity (equality/reciprocity).

Thus, according to Minister Luhut, if these countries have not opened their doors to Indonesian tourists, it is possible that Indonesia will remove them from the list.

“But if they haven’t opened it to us, because we agreed on a respirator, then it’s also possible that we will drop them from the list of 19 countries,” he said at an online press conference monitored in Jakarta, Monday (10/18) afternoon.

The Deputy Chair of the COVID-19 Control and National Economic Recovery Committee (KPC PEN) said the 19 countries that were allowed to fly directly to Bali and Riau Islands were chosen based on careful consideration.

These considerations include the number of COVID-19 cases in the country and the low positivity rate based on WHO standards.

Coordinating Minister Luhut added that the President also reminded his staff to continue to carry out weekly evaluations to mitigate the negative impact of opening entrances to the 19 countries.

Previously, the government had given permission for foreign tourists from 19 countries to be able to make international flights to Bali and the Riau Islands (Kepri) starting last October 14.

The 19 countries are Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), New Zealand, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Liechtenstein, Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Poland, Hungary, and Norway.

These countries were chosen according to the standards of the World Health Organization (WHO) because the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is at levels 1 and 2, with a low positivity rate.

“This list of 19 countries entering Indonesia only applies specifically to direct flights to Bali and Riau Islands,” Minister Luhut concluded. [antaranews]