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Indonesia, Malaysia Look to Ease Covid-19 Entry Curbs

Bali tourism
For most of the pandemic period, Indonesia has required all foreigners to secure a visa before leaving their country of origin. Photo: AFP.


Indonesia is considering a quarantine waiver for foreign visitors to its holiday island of Bali from next week, officials said on Saturday, while Malaysia announced the removal of curbs on travellers from Thailand and Cambodia.

Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur have imposed some of the strictest entry procedures in Asia to try to contain Covid-19 outbreaks and keep new variants at bay, but the restrictions have battered their tourism sectors.

The Indonesian waiver for visitors vaccinated against the coronavirus was under discussion but likely be decided by President Joko Widodo on Monday, said a spokesperson for the coordinating maritime affairs and investment ministry.

Visitors from 23 countries, including Australia, the US, Germany, and Netherlands would qualify for a visa on arrival under revised rules.

Ida Ayu Indah Yustikarini of Bali’s government tourism office also confirmed the quarantine waiver plan but said the final decision was with the central government.

Malaysia will allow vaccinated arrivals from Cambodia and Thailand to skip quarantine from March 15. Several daily flights fly from Kuala Lumpur to Phnom Penh, Bangkok and the island of Phuket.

Malaysia has so far waived quarantine for arrivals from Singapore, while Indonesia has since October granted entry to visitors from specified countries to Bali and has progressively reduced quarantine time to three days.

The moves follow neighbours the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand, which have waived quarantine in return for Covid-19 testing before departure and upon arrival.


  • Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell



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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.


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