Indonesia Travel Restrictions
New Domestic & International COVID-19 Travel Rules
The circular memoranda – numbered 21 and 22 – covers travel guidelines for both domestic and international travelers during the continuing pandemic.
Adita Irawati, a spokesman for the Ministry of Transportation, stated in a written explanation on Monday, 11 July 2022, that the guideline covering domestic travel comprises four memoranda: memorandum no. 68 on sea transportation; memorandum no. 70 on air transportation; memorandum no.72 on rail transport; and memorandum no. 73 on land transportation. (Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
For international transport, there are three relevant memoranda: memorandum no. 69 on sea transportation; memorandum no. 74 on land transportation; and memorandum no. 74 on land transportation.
The guidelines generally covered the memoranda address nationwide air, sea, land, private vehicle transportation, public transport, ferries, and train travel.
Indonesia Travel Restrictions – Domestic Travel
The key guidelines include:
- Domestic travelers who have received the third COVID-19 vaccination (including the 3rd booster shot) are not required to show negative results of an RT-PCRor rapid antigen test.
- Domestic travelers who have received a second dosage of the COVID-19vaccination are required to present a negative result for a rapid antigen test performed within 24 hours before departure or a negative result for an RT-PCR test performed 48 hours before departure. These domestic passengers must also be prepared to submit to an on-site booster (3rd vaccination) at the port-of-departure.
- Domestic travelers who have only received the first COVID-19 vaccination must present a negative result from an RT-PCR test performed within 72 hours of departure.
- Domestic travelers suffering from specific health conditions or comorbidity that prevent vaccination are exempted from the vaccination requirement. Still, they must present proof of a negative RT-PCR examination within 72 hours of departure. These individuals must also submit a doctor or government hospital letter stating that the traveler cannot follow the COVID-19 vaccination (Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
- Domestic travelers between the ages of 6 and 17 must show a certificate showing they have received the second COVID-19 vaccination and are not required to present a negative RT-PCRor rapid test antigen.
- Domestic travelers under the age of 6 years are exempted from vaccination requirements and are not required to present a negative RT-PCRor rapid test antigen. The young travelers must be accompanied on their journey by someone who has met established vaccination and testing protocols.
Adita Irawati elaborated, saying the above requirements do not apply for routine travel by land using public or private vehicles, trains operating within a single region or municipal area, pioneer modes of transportation in border areas, and, in limited special circumstances, in remote regions. (Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
Generally, the protocols apply also to foreign travelers using the following gateways:
- International airports that include: Soekarno Hatta (Banten), Juanda (Surabaya), Ngurah Rai International (Bali), Hang Nadim (Riau), Raja Haji Fisabilillah (Riau), Sam Ratulangi (Manado), Zainuddin Abdul Madjid (Lombok), Kualanamu (Medan), Sultan Hasabuddin (Makassar), Yogyakarta International, Sultan Iskandar Musa (Aceh – only for Haj pilgrimage), Minangkabau, (West Sumatra – only for Haj pilgrimage), Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II, (South Sumatra – only for Haj pilgrimage), Adisumarmo, (Solo Jawa Tengah – only for Haj pilgrimage ), Syamsuddin Noor, (South Kalimantan – only for Haj pilgrimage), Sultan Aji Muhammad Sulaiman Sepinggan, (East Kalimantan – only for Haj pilgrimage).
- All international seaports in Indonesia
- Eight international border crossing points that include Aruk, West Kalimantan; Entikong, West Kalimantan; Motaain, East Nusa Tenggara; Nanga Badau, West Kalimantan; Motamasin, East Nusa Tenggara; Wini, East Nusa Tenggara; Skouw, Papua; and Sota, Papua.
(Indonesia Travel Restrictions) Adita said the guidelines outlined in the latest memoranda would take effect on 17 July 2022.
Bali G20 Summit
Indonesia’s goal of hosting a peaceful and productive G20 Summit in November 2022 is being cast into growing doubt amidst growing international tensions fueled by Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
In a runup to the November Summit, Indonesia convened a meeting of G20 member nation foreign ministers in Bali on 08 July 2022.
Disappointing to the Indonesian hosts, the Bali event saw many attendees acting in an openly recalcitrant manner, including a high dudgeon walkout in the early stages of the gathering by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. (Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, accused the Russian Foreign Affairs Minister of failing to respect the G20 Meeting of Foreign Ministers. The highly critical accusation from the EU representative was made against Lavrov after the latter walked out of a meeting of foreign ministers in the Nusa Dua.
In Nusa Dua, Lavrov finished his speech presenting the Russian perspective on Ukraine and other topics and then left the proceedings without listening to his G20 counterparts table their countries’ respective positions.
Kompas.com, reporting on the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meetings (FMM), quotes Borrell, speaking on behalf of the EU, saying: “He (Lavrov) spoke and then left without any explanation. He didn’t listen to other Ministers’ remarks and avoided every interaction and discussion.” (Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
The State News Agency Antara quoted Borrell alleging that Lavrov’s behavior in Bali failed to respect the G20 meeting of foreign ministers and that he attended without any intention to seek a solution to the Russian-Ukraine conflict.
The Russian-Ukraine conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic drew international attention to the Bali meeting of G20 foreign ministers that serves as a preliminary before the main event of the G20 Summit in November 2022. Borrell explained the Bali meeting was convened spontaneously amidst the emotional atmosphere of the life and death drama of those living in the Ukraine war zone.
Borrell also mentioned the food crisis resulting from the Russia-Ukraine conflict, warning of the effects on the global food supply if the war does not end soon. “It is not only the Ukraine that will suffer,” said the EU official.
Meanwhile, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said the meeting of foreign ministers under Indonesia’s G20 presidency was a success with the attendance of all the G20 foreign ministers to discuss significant global challenges. Adding: “This is an achievement: gathering all the key players in one room for talks. (Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
During the Bali meeting, the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, had a one-on-one side-meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to discuss the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Meanwhile, reflecting the current state of US and Russian relations, Blinken and Lavrov made no effort to meet in Bali.
“Discussion were conducted in a very open atmosphere, and everyone accepted that they each had their position, but that fact was not of no great importance.” Retno acknowledged Larov’s abrupt departure from the meeting room, saying other foreign ministers were also coming and going from the room to undertake bi-lateral side meetings with their international counterparts.
Dian Triansyah Djani, an Indonesian career diplomat, assigned to coordinating the G20 Summit and its side meetings, told the press that no delegations walked out of the Bali meeting. Dian said if such a walkout took place, it was merely a normal part of international diplomacy. “What’s important is that (what happened) was not a walk out against Indonesia’s leadership of the G20,” added Dian. (Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
Continuing in the same vein, Dian insisted that the attendance of all the foreign ministers of the G20 in Bali showed international faith in Indonesia’s current presidency of the G20. Indonesia demonstrated its ability to conduct neutral meetings reflecting the country’s commitment to a foreign policy that is independent, active, and always in search of solutions to global problems.
In a separate report from Kompas.com, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov publicly complained after the reported Friday 08 July 2022 “walk out” at the Nusa Dua Complex. Lavrov lamented that foreign ministers attending the Bali meeting used the occasion to launch verbal attacks on Russia instead of remaining “on topic” by discussing global economic challenges. After leaving the meeting, Lavrov said he decided not to attend the main meeting and a group photograph.
A Russian news source, Russia Today, claimed that some countries had agreed to try to punish Russian because of the Ukraine conflict, using the G20 meeting in Bali to underline Russian diplomatic isolation. “It’s clear they used the G20 for a manufactured purpose,” said Lavrov. (Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
Lavrov rejected moves to depict Russia as aggressors, invaders, or occupiers. He also claimed that Western Nations were sending mixed signals, with some countries calling for a peaceful resolution to the Ukraine conflict while other nations are urging Ukraine to fight.
Continuing, and quoted by The Guardian, Lavrov said: “If the west doesn’t want talks to take place but wishes for Ukraine to defeat Russia on the battlefield – because both views have been expressed – then perhaps there is nothing to talk about with the west.”
End Bali Romance?
Indonesian culture has an almost overwhelming desire to see every single adult married. Accordingly, the law states that people should be married to a person of the opposite sex who shares their religious belief in a ceremony performed before a government registrar (catatan sipil) and, ideally, also by a religious-traditional celebrant. (Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
People unfamiliar with Indonesian culture may find it hard to understand a situation in which a toothless, 86-year-old spinster, when asked if she’s married, can only respond by saying “not yet” (“belum”). Culturally, the woman to answer by saying the equivalent of “I am NOT married” would sound so strange to local ears that all communication would come to a screaming halt.
Legal matrimony remains a central theme of Indonesian society, a fact reflected in the final draft of the current revision of the Indonesian criminal code threatening imprisonment and fines for anyone found to be cohabitating with another adult outside the bonds of marriage. If ratified, this law may have far-reaching consequences on tourism in Bali and the rest of Indonesia.
Article 416 of the draft law prohibits cohabitation and consensual sex by unmarried couples, threatening large fines and six months imprisonment for being convicted of sex outside marriage.
One mitigating stipulation of the new law states that prosecutions can only proceed against an illicit non-marital-sex offense following a complaint made by a third party. The charge can be withdrawn or nullified at any time before going to trial. (Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
At the current time, even before the new law goes into effect, law enforcement officials in remote regions of Bali and across the rest of the Republic show little mercy to those caught engaging in extra-marital sex. Local media reports frequently tell of unmarried couples, government officials, students, and unfaithful husbands and wives being apprehended in flagrante delicto or “in the act” of committing extra-marital sex in local hotels and villas.
It is unclear how the proposed new law against extra-marital sex will contradict Article 28 of the Indonesian Constitution, which protects individual rights and freedom. Also of concern is how this law might backfire and inflict significant damage on Bali’s recovering tourism industry. (Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
For instance, just how the law will be applied in Bali’s large hotel and villa sector is troubling, with some insisting Bali police would close a “blind eye” as regards unmarried couples sharing rooms in Bali.
But, the “law is the law,” and many travelers might suddenly find Bali and the rest of Indonesia an unattractive destination against even the faintest possibility that a prison term and a fine could follow the next knock on your hotel room door. (Indonesia Travel Rules)
It is, of course, Indonesia’s right to establish and rigorously enforce its system of laws. However, at the same time, there would almost certainly be consequences on Indonesia’s efforts to develop international tourism resulting from the strict application of the new law.
Common-law marriage has many names and labels: de facto, cohabitation, samenliven, domestic partnership, conjugal union, and kumpul kebo.
The new Indonesian law seems to ignore trends in modern society. By whatever name, common-law partnerships or non-ceremonial marriages appear to be undergoing an upward trend globally. This includes Indonesia and Bali, where many young Indonesian couples share accommodation when traveling to major tourism areas. (Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
Leading source markets for foreign visitors to Bali include large segments of people in long-term unions without the benefit of formal marriage certificates. Data from The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) show that growing numbers of people live in unregistered domestic partnerships, averaging from 10% to 30% in nearly all developed countries. What’s more, the average rate of unmarried couples living in non-registered unions grows higher among older couples and those with higher levels of education.
Australia is a leading source of tourists to Bali, where OECD data shows as many as 17% of couples over age 30 cohabitate in de facto relationships. By extension, it is logical to assume that many within this segment travel on holiday to Bali and book accommodation at the Island’s hotels.
If Article 416 of the revised criminal law prohibiting cohabitation by unmarried adults is rigorously enforced in Indonesia, questions arise about the impact on Bali’s beleaguered tourism sector? Will domestic and international guests be required to present “proof of marriage” at check-in? (Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
Will guests unable to present an acceptable marriage license be refused service? Will supervision measures now be implemented to monitor Bali’s large wedding planning industry to ensure that the bride and groom sleep in separate rooms until formally married, as seeming required by the new law?
Will Bali law enforcement officials in the Island’s main tourist areas duplicate enforcement measures already in place elsewhere in Indonesia by conducting “surprise” raids of guest rooms to apprehend and arrest those involved in illicit conjugal relations? (Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
But the most important question still to be answered is what effect Article 416 KUHP will have on Bali tourism arrivals and the Island’s standing as the world’s most romantic Island?
Denpasar Hotels Struggle to Recover
NusaBali.com quotes the chairman of the Denpasar branch of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Denpasar), Ida Bagus Gede Sidharta Putra (“Gusde”), saying average hotel occupancy rates in Denpasar had reached 40% – with “almost all” PHRI-Denpasar members now open and operating.
Some Denpasar hotels, however, remain closed. Gusde said some hotels remain closed because their rooms suffered damage and deteriorated during the pandemic and are yet fit to be occupied by guests. (Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
According to Gusde, occupancy rates at Denpasar hotels average around 40%. Despite the large number of events taking place in Bali, occupancy at Bali hotels remains between 40-50%.
Gusde said hotels in Denpasar offer discounts of between 35-40 percent.
Gusde, who manages the Griya Santrian on Sanur Beach, optimistically noted that his property is bow achieving an occupancy of 65-70%. Adding: “This is good.
Although the price is not yet normal, rates are still rising slowly with the international borders now reopened. Many hotels are not ready (to reopen). Two years (of closure), they are damaged.” (Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
The PHRI-Denpasar chairman said that in normal times there are around 8,000 hotel rooms in Denpasar, and the current number (of saleable rooms) is about half this number. He admitted there had been no formal confirmation or survey regarding how many hotels remain open, how many are bankrupt, or how many are under repair following a two-year pandemic crisis.
Continuing, Gusde explained: “For instance, from the 138 rooms at the Griya Santrian, 80 are not saleable. The paint on the walls has peeled, and some air conditioners are broken. We don’t have the funds to repair these items, and we must gradually accumulate the funds, and then we will repair these rooms.” (Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
Australian visitors dominate guests in the Sanur Beach area of Denpasar. Domestic travelers dominate guests in Denpasar city hotels.
Gusde explained the problems now encountered by hotels heavily dependent on domestic travelers. He said hotels serving only the domestic market enjoy either “feast or famine” – high occupancy during school, public holidays, and major events sponsored by State ministries.
When these holidays or events pass, the hotels don’t know where to look for new guests. Hotels with a mix of domestic and international guests enjoy a less “up and down” trend in occupancies. (Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
The PHRI-Denpasar chairman is hopeful that The Sanur Village Festival scheduled for 17-21 August will stimulate visitors and hotel occupancies in both Denpasar and Sanur. Gusde thinks the Festival may provide a 10-15% improvement in hotel occupancies based on its past success in attracting domestic and international visitors.
In pre-pandemic times, the 5-day Sanur Village Festival managed to generate Rp. 44 billion in income, attracting 70,000 visitors to Sanur. (Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
Bali Among Busiest Airports in June 2022
As reported by Kompas.com, compared to one year before – June 2021, passenger traffic increased 37% while aircraft movements were up by 6%. In June 2021, a total of 3.44 million passengers on 42,324 flights were recorded by API.
The CEO of API, Faik Fahmi, noting the increase in passengers and flights, commented: “The continuing trend in passenger growth over this year is a positive sign of the recovery of the public’s faith in air travel.” (Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport recorded the highest number of passengers and flights in June 2022 among the 15 airports managed by API.
Flights and passenger numbers at API-managed air gateways in June ranked in order of the three leading busiest airports.
- Bali’s Ngurah Rai Internation Airport:1.1 million passengers comprising 754,188 domestic and 364,910 international passengers.
- Surabaya’s Juanda International Airport: 995,621 passengers comprising 855,345 domestic passengers, 74,334 international passengers, and 65,942 transit travelers.
- Makassar’s Sultan Hasanuddin Airport: 873,809 passengers comprising 658,087 domestic passengers, 9,584 international passengers, and 206,138 transit passengers.
Aircraft Movements (Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
In terms of aircraft movement, the top three airports in terms of ranking:
- Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airportwas ranked first in June 2022 with 7,027 flights broken down into 5,105 domestic flights and 1,922 international flights.
- Surabaya’s Juanda International Airport ranked second with 6,839 flights broken down into 6,355 domestic and 484 international flights.
- Makassar’s Sultan Hasanuddin Airportranked third with 6,829 flights comprised of 6,768 domestic and 61 international flights.
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