Indonesia, Malaysia to Ease COVID Restrictions for Foreign Tourists

Indonesia is considering removing quarantines for certain foreigners visiting Bali starting next week, officials said Saturday. Meanwhile, Malaysia announced the lifting of restrictions for visitors from Thailand and Cambodia.

Indonesia and Malaysia have imposed fairly strict entry procedures to control the COVID-19 outbreak, but the restrictions have had an impact on the tourism sector.

Quarantine exceptions for visitors who have received the COVID-19 vaccine are currently being discussed, but will likely be decided by President Joko Widodo on Monday (7/3), said a spokesman for the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment.

Jodi Mahardi also said that under the new regulation, visitors from 23 countries, including Australia, the US, Germany and the Netherlands, would be eligible for a visit visa on arrival.

Ida Ayu Indah Yustikarini, an official with the Bali provincial tourism office, also confirmed the planned quarantine exception to Reutersbut said the final decision rests with the central government.

Malaysia will allow fully vaccinated Cambodians and Thais to visit without quarantine from March 15.

Malaysia has so far removed quarantine rules for visitors from Singapore. Meanwhile, Indonesia has since October allowed visitors from certain countries to Bali and has reduced the quarantine period to three days.

The move follows the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand, which have lifted quarantines. Instead, all three countries require COVID-19 tests before departure and upon arrival. [vm/ah]