Indonesia is set to lengthen mandatory quarantine for most international arrivals from 7 days to 10 days, a senior minister said, as the country seeks to tighten border restrictions to avoid the spread of the Omicron variant.
In a statement, Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan, who oversees policies on COVID-19 restrictions in Indonesia, said the government is set to require those entering Indonesia from abroad to undergo 10 days of quarantine based on a directive by President Joko Widodo.
"We are adopting this policy, which will be subject to further evaluation as we try to get a deeper understanding of this new variant," Luhut said yesterday evening.
A ministerial regulation confirming and outlining specifics about the quarantine extension is expected in the near future.
A ban on all foreign travelers coming from 11 countries and territories with known Omicron cases is still in effect. Indonesians with travel history to these regions are required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Indonesia.
These countries and territories are: South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, Eswatini, Malawi, Angola, Zambia, and Hong Kong. It remains to be seen if the ban would be expanded to cover other nations where Omicron has been detected, namely Australia, Canada, and several European countries.
In response to the Omicron scare, Indonesia had only just extended mandatory quarantine for international arrivals coming from outside of the above countries and territories to 7 days from 3 days previously.
In another precautionary measure, Luhut has prohibited government officials from traveling abroad for the time being, while also urging the general public to refrain from going abroad.
Indonesia has yet to officially detect the Omicron variant in its shores.