On Wednesday, May 27 the Lion Air Group announced it was temporarily suspending all domestic flights for five days through Sunday, May 31, over issues concerning mandated pre-flight documents due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The airline resumed operations on Sunday, May 10, after the government ended a ban on domestic flights. Under the easing of restrictions, officials, medical staff, business people, the critically ill, and bereaved family members are permitted to fly domestically. Travelers must provide certain documents, generally their ticket, identity card, a medical letter showing they are free of COVID-19, and official letters stating the reason for travel. Lion Air stated that due to confusion over the documents many passengers had been denied permission to fly because they had been misinformed. The airline will use the five-day break to ensure they can properly disseminate information regarding the new boarding requirements to passengers via its website and offices, as well as use the opportunity to inspect the health of their employees who have been involved in recent flights. All passengers scheduled to fly during the period of suspension may either request a refund or have their flight rescheduled at no additional cost.
On Thursday, May 21, Indonesian authorities revoked a regulation stipulating that all arrivals to the country would require a health certificate from their country of origin certifying a negative COVID-19 result, instead requiring a negative test result from a rapid test, available at Indonesian ports of entry. This announcement comes after the government declared that the entry of foreign workers was suspended from Monday, May 11, following the rejection of 500 Chinese workers from Southwest Sulawesi in early May.
Social distancing restrictions (PSBB) in Jakarta will remain in place through Thursday, June 4. Under PSBB regulations, all workplaces are closed, aside from those linked to eight essential sectors including health, food, energy, and finance. Nonessential workers have been advised to work from home. All educational institutions are closed, except for training and research related to health services. Religious activities must be conducted at home with only immediate family members, instead of at places of worship. Nonessential businesses such as bars, spas, and cinemas remain closed, and public transportation limited. Gatherings of more than five people are also prohibited. Social and cultural events, including weddings, have been banned. Police patrols will also be increased to ensure compliance with the restrictions.
Other previously announced measures remain in place, including the prohibition of all entry and transit by foreign nationals into or through Indonesia; wearing face masks in public is also mandatory. However, foreigners with a limited stay permit card (Kitas), permanent stay permit card (Kitap), or other similar permits will still be allowed to enter the country.
As of May 27, there are 23,851 COVID-19 cases across Indonesia, including 1473 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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