Indonesia lifts outdoor mask mandate, pre-departure tests for visitors

Indonesia dropped mask requirements starting 18 May, a day after President Joko Widodo said that people will no longer be required to wear them outdoors.

In a statement streamed on the presidential palace’s YouTube channel on 17 May, President Widodo also said that vaccinated travellers arriving in Indonesia will no longer be required to show negative pre-departure tests.

Here are the details about Indonesia’s loosening of COVID-19 restrictions

What President Widodo said

In his statement, the President noted that the decision was taken because “the pandemic is getting more and more controlled.”

“When people are doing outdoor activities, or in open areas that are not crowded with people, then they are allowed not to wear masks,” the president said.

“Domestic and international travellers who are fully vaccinated no longer need to take PCR (polymerase chain reaction) or antigen swab tests,” he added.

Other rules and restrictions

Image credit: Adismara Putri Pradiri/@adizmarine/Unsplash

Masks are, however, still required indoors and on all public transport in Indonesia. Those with underlying health conditions or coughs, as well as the elderly have been recommended to use masks.

On the other hand, quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated domestic travellers coming to Indonesia were lifted in March, but those arriving from overseas were required to take a pre-departure COVID-19 test till the lifting of restrictions starting 18 May.

In a separate press conference, Wiku Adisasmito, Indonesia’s COVID-19 task force spokesperson, said that as per the new policy, the “instructions will be elaborated in a number of regulations.”

“We hope the policy will be implemented well. However, people are expected to remain vigilant and adapt to future changes,” he added.

Indonesia is the latest South East Asian country to ease COVID-19 restrictions following others such as Laos, Singapore and Malaysia.

A total of 166 million people of Indonesia’s 270 million population have been fully vaccinated.

(Main and Featured images: Adismara Putri Pradiri/@adizmarine/Unsplash)

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