Indonesia scraps travel quarantine, eases curbs on Ramadan traditions

Indonesia officially allowed the resumption of traditional practices for the upcoming month of Ramadan after two years of tight pandemic restrictions. (File/AFP)

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AFP

March 23, 2022

  • The easing of restrictions follows a decline in Covid-19 cases in the Southeast Asian archipelago
  • The government also expanded its visa-on-arrival policy for travellers from 42 countries

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JAKARTA: Indonesia on Wednesday officially lifted quarantine requirements for overseas travelers and allowed the resumption of traditional practices for the upcoming holy month of Ramadan after two years of tight pandemic restrictions.


The easing of restrictions follows a decline in Covid-19 cases in the Southeast Asian archipelago, which battled an omicron-fueled surge earlier this year.


“The Covid-19 situation in our country continues to improve. Therefore, the government decided to take some easing measures,” President Joko Widodo said in a public statement on Wednesday.


Overseas travelers will be exempted from quarantine if they return a negative PCR test.


“However, if the travelers are tested positive, our Covid-19 taskforce will handle them,” Widodo said.
The measures come two weeks after a test reopening limited to the holiday island of Bali.


The government also expanded its visa-on-arrival policy for travelers from 42 countries, an increase from 23.
With the fasting month around the corner, Widodo also announced said traditional Ramadan evening prayers (tarawih) will resume at mosques in the world’s largest Muslim majority country.


Mass prayers have been restricted since the pandemic hit the country in 2020, although some communities have defied the ban.


A yearly exodus of Indonesians to their hometowns for Eid Al-Fitr celebrations at the end of the month of Ramadan, another cherished tradition, will also be allowed to resume, the president said.


Celebrations had been prohibited for two years to prevent the spread of the virus.


“We also allow those wanting to go back to their hometowns for Eid Al-Fitr provided that they have received full doses of vaccines and a booster shot,” he said.

source https://www.arabnews.com/node/2048866/world

Categories: Asia, Indonesia

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