Indonesia has joined Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Malaysia to become the latest Southeast Asian country to drop its quarantine requirement for all arrivals from overseas. Announcing the move yesterday—which takes immediate effect—Indonesia’s tourism minister, Sandiaga Uno, told a news conference that the decision was made following the success of a recent two-week trial quarantine waiver program on the islands of Bali, Batam, and Bintan. Arriving visitors must still take a COVID-19 test.
There is, however, some confusion about the visa policy going forward. Effective from March 7th, visa-on-arrival had been available for tourists from 23 countries, but only for travelers arriving in Bali. From Monday, this has been expanded to 42 countries, but it wasn’t made clear whether visa-on-arrival would apply beyond Bali. Reuters has reported that a senior minister had said last week that Bali would soon be joined by Jakarta and Surabaya.
Boasting more than a million visitors per month before the pandemic, Indonesia is considered by many to be the best diving destination in the world. But the country’s dive travel sector has been devastated by the restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the lifting of quarantine requirements—and the anticipated return of visa-on-arrival across the country—will be welcome news for divers and underwater shooters everywhere.
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