Lona Olavia, Jakarta – The government has decided to relax the mask requirement in open places with no crowds and drop the testing rule for domestic and foreign travelers, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo Tuesday announced on Tuesday, marking the country's significant improvement in Covid-19 pandemic handling.
"First, the government decided to relax the policy on wearing masks," Jokowi said in a video broadcast from Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java.
"Suppose people are active outdoors or in open areas that are not crowded with people. In that case, they are not allowed to wear masks," he said.
Still, people must wear masks during closed rooms activities and or public transport rides.
"For people in the vulnerable category, like the elderly or those with comorbid diseases, I still recommend wearing masks in their daily activities," Jokowi said.
He also required people with cold symptoms, like cough or fever, to wear masks when meeting with people.
Secondly, Jokowi said the government had dropped the polymerase chain reaction test (PCR) or antigen swab tests requirement for domestic and foreign travelers who received a complete vaccination dose.
The announcement marked Indonesia's most relaxed rules since the government introduced the mask mandate in 2020.
The government had also said last month that it would ease more pandemic restrictions should the Idul Fitri exodus did not start another Covid-19 wave.
The most populous country in Southeast Asia has seen new daily Covid-19 cases drop below 500 for three weeks now, even after the week-long Idul Fitri holiday that saw around 85 million people traveling around the country. On Tuesday, the government reported 247 new cases and 17 new deaths caused by Covid-19.