Breaking News: Indonesian has announced that the country will not require a booster shot for international arrivals. This includes the island of Bali.
Earlier Story Now Continues
Officials in Indonesia have announced the date that the compulsory booster vaccine mandate will come into effect for domestic travelers, but are yet to confirm the date for the changing rules for international travelers.
At this time, no changes have been made to the requirements for international travelers. Although the Indonesian government announced they would be changing the rules within 2 weeks, no date for a booster requirement has been set.
Last week Java-Bali Covid-19 Restrictions Coordinator Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan released a statement to confirm that the national Covid-19 Task Force was drawing up new legalization and that it would be put in place within ‘a maximum of two weeks’. According to the Ministry of Health, the booster vaccine requirement for domestic travelers in Indonesia will come into effect as of the 17th of July.
There has yet to be an announcement to say when the booster vaccine will become compulsory for international travelers but last week officials stated that there would be changing travel requirements for international travelers too. It is also not clear from what date international citizens who are traveling domestically within Indonesia will need to show proof of a booster vaccine.
While this leaves room for confusion and frustration for travelers, at present travelers only need to present their vaccine certificate to border control officials which shows they have had a full course of treatment. Authorities are reminding travelers that it is their responsibility to keep up to date with changing travel restrictions before they travel.
According to the announcement, Indonesian citizens who have not had a booster vaccine must show evidence of an antigen test or a PCR test to enter crowded public spaces or travel by air.
Those who have had a booster vaccine must present their vaccination certificate and check in with the PeduliLindungi Track and Trace app. It is being speculated that these changes are the same as what will rolled out for international travelers when the date is announced.
For domestic travelers who have only recently completed their second dose of the vaccine, for whom it is too early to have a booster, they must present a negative result of the antigen test which is valid for 24 hours, or a negative PCR which is valid for 72 hours, ahead of domestic air travel.
Speaking to CNN Indonesia, a spokesperson for the Minister of Health said that the number of vaccines being administered in Indonesia had been in decline. One reason they cited for the reduction in the uptake of the booster vaccine is the decline in cases widely reported by the media in May and June.
In the last two weeks, however, cases have slowly started to increase including in Bali. The spokesperson said ‘Of course, there are many factors that contributed to this reduced achievement [in booster uptake]. One of them is because people feel that we are under control, so there is a reluctance to carry out vaccinations, especially boosters”
Across Bali, local Covid-19 Task Forces are renewing vaccination campaign efforts. The Bali State Intelligence Agency (BIN) launched a vaccine booster campaign targeted at school leavers which have helped increase the uptake of the vaccine on a local level. The campaign has also enabled the authorities to check in with the student’s family members to check that vulnerable community members are taking the vaccine too.
It has been reported that in Bali there is a stark contrast between the uptake of the second and booster vaccines. Second vaccine data show that 81% of Bali’s population has been covered, but only 24% have had their booster. Booster vaccine clinics will be reopening in public spaces across the island, including at shopping malls and reports have suggested that Bali Airport is working to open a vaccine center within the terminal building too.
For holidaymakers and other travelers to Bali the advice remains to check in with government information sites before setting off for the airport.
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