THE government has imposed a new health protocol for foreign travellers, which includes Indonesian citizens and foreign nationals who travel from Indonesia to foreign countries or from abroad to Indonesia.

The new health protocol is outlined in the Circular Letter of the Task Force for Handling COVID-19 Number 25 of 2022 concerning Health Protocols for Overseas Travel during the COVID-19 Pandemic which will take effect from Thursday, September 1, 2022.

According to Brigadier General (Ret.) dr. Alexander Kaliaga Ginting, whose assignment letter as Head of the Health Support Sub Division of the COVID-19 Handling Task Force ends in August 2022 and is in the process of being extended, the new protocol includes the implementation of vaccination requirements for overseas travelers (PPLN).

According to the Task Force Circular, PPLN Indonesian citizens aged 18 years and over who will travel abroad from Indonesia are required to show a card/certificate (physical or digital) of the third dose of COVID-19 vaccination (booster) through the PeduliLindungi application.

This provision is excluded for PPLN Indonesian citizens with special health conditions or comorbid diseases that prevent the person concerned from being vaccinated based on a doctor’s certificate from a government hospital and PPLN Indonesian citizens who have completed isolation/treatment due to COVID-19 and have been declared are not at risk of transmitting the virus but cannot yet undergo the third dose of vaccination.

Meanwhile, PPLN who wish to enter Indonesian territory are required to use the PeduliLindung application and show a card/certificate (physical or digital) of the second dose of COVID-19 vaccination at least 14 days before departure which is written in English, in addition to the language of the country of origin.

This rule is exempted for PPLNs with certain conditions, including those under 18 years old, having special health conditions, and not being able to undergo vaccination because they have just finished carrying out quarantine/treatment due to being infected with COVID-19.

Alexander said that PPLN Indonesian citizens who have not received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccination, second dose, or third dose must undergo vaccination at the entrance after undergoing a health check.

“Foreign PPLN who are already in Indonesia and will travel, both domestically and internationally, must undergo vaccination through the government scheme,” he said.

In addition, he said, travelers who experience symptoms of illness must undergo further examination, antigen examination or RT-PCR examination, to detect COVID-19 transmission. The Task Force Circular also includes provisions regarding the entrance of PPLN into Indonesian territory.

According to the Task Force Circular, PPLN can enter Indonesian territory through 15 airports, including Soekarno-Hatta Airport (Banten), Juanda Airport (East Java), I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport (Bali), Hang Nadim Airport (Riau Islands), and Sam Ratulangi Airport (North Sulawesi).

PPLN can also enter through Zainuddin Abdul Madjid Airport (West Nusa Tenggara), Kualanamu Airport (North Sumatra), Sultan Hasanuddin Airport (South Sulawesi), Yogyakarta Airport, Sultan Iskandar Muda Airport (Aceh), Minangkabau Airport (West Sumatra), Sultan Airport Aji Muhammad Sulaiman Sepinggan (East Kalimantan), Sultan Syarif Kasim II Airport (Riau), Kertajati Airport (West Java), and Sentani Airport (Papua).

In addition, all international sea ports in Indonesia are opened for foreign travelers. Foreign travelers can also enter the territory of Indonesia through a cross-border post in Aruk, West Kalimantan; Entikong, West Kalimantan; Motaain, East Nusa Tenggara; Nanga Badau, West Kalimantan; Motamasin, East Nusa Tenggara; Wini, East Nusa Tenggara; Skouw, Papua; and Sota, Papua. [antaranews/photo special]