UPDATE as at early AUGUST 2022
Before the Pandemic Indonesia was one of the world’s easier countries for holiday makers to visit. That all changed with the 2020 arrival of COVID-19 and for two years from March of 2020 the borders were effectively shut. Thankfully, they are at last beginning to reopen.
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UPDATE – The good news for frustrated would-be travelers at the beginning of August is that the new more relaxed COVID entry rules that went into effect from 30 May 2022 continue in force.
So long as you can show you are fully vaccinated (at least two COVID shots with an approved vaccine) you can now visit Indonesia without a prior negative PCR or rapid antigen test.
You also are no longer required to have COVID insurance.
And, provided you are not running a temperature, you will not be tested on arrival, or be required to enter quarantine.
As well, Immigration authorities have announced that as of 26 July they have more than doubled the list of approved air, sea and land entry points and added citizens of three more countries to the list of those eligible for the new Visitor Visa on Arrival.
The sighs of relief from frustrated travelers and the tourist industry across Indonesia and the region have been almost audible.
A bleak scene of shuttered shops and empty street at the height of the Pandemic in normally bustling Bali – Pic Daily Mail online
Two years of struggle at all levels across Indonesia's tourism industry
Hotels, tour operators, restaurants, airlines, and everyone associated with tourism right down to drivers and local guides have been cruelly impacted by the pandemic, especially in major destinations like Bali.
International visitor numbers crashed from a high of more than 16 million in 2019 to an expectation of between 1.8 and 3.6 million for 2022, according to the tourism minister.
And that’s only if Covid continues to be contained.
Many businesses have gone to the wall but, in the hope of better times ahead, some of those that survived have now begun recruiting and training staff to replace the people they had to let go.
Overcoming the confusion of early announcements
The new entry arrangements came into effect from 30 May 2022 and are the latest in a confusing and often expensive movable feast of gradually relaxing restrictions since mid-November last year.
Some of the early announcements that Indonesia and Bali were “now open again” were downright misleading in the way they played down or failed to mention strict conditions.
This time we can assert that Indonesia is indeed finally re-opening in a way most travelers will consider to be a reasonable compromise in a world where the COVID pandemic remains a persisting concern to health authorities
The new rules come after a dramatic decline in COVID cases and deaths in Indonesia in contrast to the raging outbreaks of the Delta variant around July last year.
Further easing expected over coming months
Indonesia still has a way to go to return to the smooth and easy entry pre-COVID entry rules which saw those record numbers of international visitors in 2018 and 2019.
However, the history of gradual easing over the past 8 months suggests there will be more to come.
We at www.travellingindonesia.net will be watching closely and will publish further updates as they are announced.
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INDONESIAN VISITOR ENTRY REQUIREMENTS 30 MAY 2022
The nuts and bolts of the current rules
1. The Government has created a ‘Special Visa on Arrival for Tourism’ visa category available to passport holders from 75 countries. You can check whether your home country is included by clicking HERE.– Scroll down the meorandum mto reach the list.
(PLEASE NOTE: According to local Immigration officials I have spoken with, this Visa is strictly a tourist visa. It is not intended to serve as a single-entry Business Visa as was the case under previous Visa-on-Arrival arrangements.)
2. The Government has also created a related ‘Visa Exemption Facility’ for visitors from 9 ASEAN countries of the Southeast Asian region.
3. The cost of the Special Tourist Visa on Arrival is Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) 500,000 (equivalent to around US$35).
4. The Visa duration is 30 days, but you can apply for an extension of another 30 days (with payment of a further IUDR500,000) from within Indonesia by attending an Immigration office in one of the provincial capitals.
But be careful – Indonesian authorities include the day of your arrival and the day of your departure in your 30 days, so you have only 29 nights. If you overstay you will be fined up to 1m rupiah (around US$68) per day!
You also need to know that the process of applying for an additional 30 days can be a messy challenge – more about that later.
5. Travelers under the age of 18 are exempt from proof of vaccination requirement. Those under 6 are exempted from the vaccination and Covid-19 testing requirements but must be accompanied by another traveler who has fulfilled the vaccination and Covid-19 testing requirements.
These are the stickers you will receive in your Passport when issued a Special Visa-on-Arrival for Tourism under the new Visa arrangements. They cover half a page.
Other qualifying requirements for the new Special tourism visa
YOUR passport must be valid for 6 months and you need to be able to show tickets for your return or onward travel if requested.
YOU must show printed or digital proof that you are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 at least 14 days prior to your departure (exemptions apply to visitors under 18 years old, diplomatic/official government visits, and medically certified persons).
YOU are required to download to your smartphone the Indonesian mobile tracing app PeduliLindungi (available from Google Play; App Store, App Gallery).
YOU are required also to Register your Covid-19 vaccine certificate at https://vaksinln.dto.kemkes.go.id/sign/in . Your verified certificate will appear on your PeduliLindungi app for your access to indoor public places in Indonesia (Note – during almost six weeks in Indonesia, including visits to Government offices, I have only once been asked to show my digital vaccination certificate.)
Don’t be put off by the conditions above – they are not at all as complex as they may at first seem. Downloading the App and registering (all in English) is a breeze.
Tests and possible quarantine for those who show symptoms and the unvaccinated
Your temperature will be checked on arrival – if higher than 37.5C you will be required to undergo a COVID PCR test. – Pic capecodhealth.org
Travelers who have previously contracted COVID-19 are exempt from showing a vaccine certificate if they can show a notice from a doctor/hospital/ministry of health, or a Covid-19 recovery certificate from their departure country (in English) confirming that the traveler is no longer transmitting Covid-19.
If you are exhibiting symptoms your temperature will be checked on arrival in Indonesia and if you have a fever (above 37.5 Degrees C) you must undergo a PCR test. You are required await the test result at nominated hotel or accommodation.
If the test is positive you will need to quarantine for five days (with a further PCR test at four days) or be treated in hospital. Quarantine and Isolation costs are at your expense.
If you have not been vaccinated or have had only one dose of vaccine you will be required to quarantine and to undergo PCR tests on arrival and on Day 4.
Unvaccinated foreign travelers may transit through Indonesian airports so long as they do not leave the airport area.
PREVIOUS EDIT UPDATE – My vaccination certificate was checked but I did not have my temperature taken on arrival at Batam Centre in early July (2022).
Extending your 'Special Visa on Arrival for Tourism’
Extending your Visa for a further 30 days at a provincial capital office can be anything but the straightforward process implied in information circulated by Indonesian Immigration.
First surprise – be aware that if staying beyond 31 days you need a “sponsor” to accept responsibility for you during your continuing stay in Indonesia. A spouse, a host, or an institution.
Second – You will need photocopies of your passport, your vaccination certificate, and your sponsor’s Identity Card (KTP). There is usually a photocopy office nearby and copies are very inexpensive. There probably will be a computer in the office where you can print out your vaccination certificate registration from the PeduliLindungi App. Office staff will help.
Third – You will need to complete as many as four documents providing your details and those of your sponsor. Two of those documents will need to be signed off by your sponsor over Stamp Duty stamps (materai). It means that, if possible, you should have your sponsor accompany you to the Immigration office.
Fourth – When the documentation is complete you will be issued a letter to take to the nearest of several accredited banks to deposit your IDR500,000 payment for the Visa extension to the Immigration Department’s account.
Fifth – On your return to the Immigration office with a receipt from the bank you will have your photograph taken and be finger-printed.
Sixth – You have reached the end of the process, but you will need to leave your passport overnight to allow for processing. In case you are asked to produce your passport before you can return to pick it up, you will be given a receipt to show that your passport is with Immigration and that you have paid for the 30-day extension.
Seventh – You will need to return next day or as soon as you can subsequently to pick up your passport with its neat new stamp granting you an extended stay.
This whole process can be somewhat daunting if you are expecting a simple and brief transaction. But now you know and can be prepared.
EXPANDED LIST OF ENTRY PORTS
Under the latest arrangements the number of airports, seaports and land border crossings through which visitors can enter has been more than doubled.
You may now enter through 16 international airports –
(a) Soekarno Hatta, Jakarta,
(b) Ngurah Rai, Denpasar, Bali,
(c) Kualanamu, Medan, North Sumatera,
(d) Juanda, Surabaya, East Java,
(e) Sultan Hasanuddin, Makassar, South Sulawesi,
(f) Sam Ratulangi, Manado, North Sulawesi, and
(g) Yogyakarta, Yogyakarta,
(h) Hang Nadim, Batam, Riau Islands,
(i) Zainuddin Abdul Majid, Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara,
(j) Adisumarno, Surakarta (Solo), Central Java,
(k) Minangkabau, Padang, West Sumatra,
(l) Raja Haji Fisabilillah, Tanjung Tanjung Pinang, Riau Islands,
(m) Sultan Aji Muhammad Sulaiman, Balikpapan, East Kalimantan,
(n) Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II, Palembang, South Sumatera,
(o) Sultan Syarif Kasim II, Pekanbaru, Riau, and
(p) Syamsuddin Noor, Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan.
The following 23 Seaports –
(a) Nongsa Terminal Bahari, Riau Islands,
(b) Batam Centre, Riau Islands,
(c) Sekupang, Riau Islands,
(d) Citra Tri Tunas , Riau Islands,
(e) Marina Teluk Senimba, Riau Islands,
(f) Bandar Bentan Telani Lagoi, Riau Islands,
(g) Bandar Seri Udana Lobam, Riau Islands,
(h) Sri Bintan Pura, Riau Islands,
(i) Dumai, Riau,
(j) Tanjung Balai Karimun, Riau Islands,
(k) Benoa, Bali,
(l) Biak, Papua,
(m) Jayapura, Papua,
(n) Nusantara Pare Pare, South Sulawesi,
(o) Padang Bai, Bali,
(p) Samudera, North Sulawesi,
(q) Saumlaki, Moluccas,
(r) Sibolga, North Sumatera,
(s) Soekarno-Hatta, South Sulawesi,
(t) Sunda Kelapa, DKI Jakarta,
(u) Tanjung Pandan, Bangka Belitung,
(v) Tenau, East Nusa Tenggara, and
(w) Tual, Moluccas
These 12 land border crossings –
(a) Entikong, West Kalimantan,
(b) Aruk, Sambas, West Kalimantan,
(c) Mota’ain, Atambua, East Nusa Tenggara,
(d) Tunon Taka, Nunukan, North Kalimantan,
(e) Marore, Tahuna, North Sulawesi,
(f) Miangas, Tahuna, North Sulawesi,
(g) Nanga Badau, Putussibau, West Kalimantan,
(h) Serasan, Ranai, Riau Islands,
(i) Skouw, Jayapura, Papua,
(j) Sota, Merauke, Papua,
(k) Wini, Atambua, East Nusa Tenggara, and
(l) Motomasin, Atambua, East Nusa Tenggara.
Domestic travel requirements
Once within Indonesia travel is relatively easy. If you are fully vaccinated no pre-departure COVID testing is required for domestic flights, rail or ferries.
If you are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, you will need a negative pre-departure rapid antigen or PCR test. Airlines require all passengers to wear facemasks
THE BIG PICTURE
It is NOW fair to say that Indonesia is at last re-opening, at least for travelers who are fully vaccinated and have no COVID-19 symptoms.
There are conditions, but they are neither onerous nor unduly expensive. There is reason to hope that over coming months the Visa-free tourist visa and inexpensive Visa-on-arrival processes that proved so popular pre-pandemic will be restored.
The tourism industry of this most beautiful and fascinating country has been suffering and the ‘little people’ whom it supported have suffered the most. The sooner the industry and the lives of the people in it can be restored, the better.
A tidal wave of curious visitors was rolling into Indonesia in the years immediately prior to COVID – the sooner that momentum can be regathered the better it will be for promoting international awareness and understanding of this increasingly important but relatively little-known nation, and its warm and welcoming people.
NOTE – If you would like even more detail, then you can see a complete Indonesian Consular office update as at 2 August by CLICKI.NG HERE Don’t pay too much attention to the opening preamble – it contains dated information and is unlikely to apply for most people anyway.