Indonesia to suspend entry of foreigners to curb COVID-19 spread

JAKARTA (XINHUA) – Indonesia decided to ban arrivals and transits of foreign citizens into the country to prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus which has killed 122 people and infected 1,414 others in Indonesia, a minister said yesterday.

Holders of stay permits, diplomats and other official visitors will be exempted from the suspension, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said after a Cabinet meeting.

“It has been decided that the arrivals and transits of foreign nationals will be transiently barred,” the minister said.

The suspension will be effective soon and the government plans to issue a regulation on it, she said.

“Not only does the government now put priority to control the mobility of the people in the country, but also the mobility of people from countries that potentially carry imported cases,” Indonesian President Joko Widodo told the Cabinet meeting. The president said screening and a tight health protocol will be applied on thousands of Indonesian migrant workers and ship crew who have returned and will return from abroad.

Indonesia previously suspended entry of foreign nationals from Italy, Vatican, Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Britain and Iran in a bid to curb the spreads of the virus.

Foreign tourists check an information board as flights were cancelled due to coronavirus outbreak, at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, Indonesia. PHOTO: AP