Chairul Fikri, Jakarta – Visitors from 14 countries are barred from entering Indonesia under the current travel restrictions aimed at reducing the risk of the spread of the highly contagious Omicron coronavirus variant.
According to the updated travel advice effective on Friday, the 14 countries include South Africa, Botswana, Norway, France, Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini, Lesotho, the United Kingdom, and Denmark.
"The restriction also applies to international travelers who have transited through those countries in the past 14 days," said Agus Listiyono, who heads the Covid-19 task force at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in the Jakarta suburb of Tangerang.
The list was introduced in late November when South Africa began to report a dramatic surge in new Covid-19 cases attributed to Omicron.
The UK and Denmark were added to the list because both countries have recorded more than 10,000 cases, Agus said, adding that any violation will risk deportation.
Indonesian citizens returning from those 14 countries must self-isolate for 10 days, he added.
Indonesia has recorded 254 Omicron cases since mid-December, the majority of which displayed mild symptoms or were asymptomatic, according to Health Ministry reports.
Newly Covid-19 cases have been trending up over the past two weeks and the daily tally has exceeded the 500 mark in the past two days.
The country has recorded a total of 4.27 million Covid-19 cases including 144,121 deaths since the pandemic started.