Indonesian ministry revises foreigner ban amid travel corridor discussion with Singapore

Passers-by walking in front of Singapore's central business district skyline, in Singapore, May 10, 2019.
PHOTO: Reuters

The Law and Human Rights Ministry is revising its temporary ban on foreigners entering Indonesia as the government enters discussion with Singapore to form a travel corridor arrangement between the two countries for essential businesses.

Minister Yasonna Laoly said the ministry was finalizing a revision to a ministerial regulation about temporary prohibition of foreigners entering Indonesia amid the Covid-19 outbreak, which had been effective since April 3.

“We will finish the revision soon, so there won’t be any issue hindering TCA implementation,” Yasonna said in a statement on Thursday.

He requested that authorities prepare sufficient health infrastructure for passenger coronavirus screening in airports and seaports, especially in Jakarta as well as Batam, Riau Islands, which directly borders Singapore.

The ministry’s Immigration Directorate General will prepare an electronic visa service for the essential travelers looking to visit the country. The visa service is expected to be available starting Oct 15.

Yasonna claimed the arrangement would make way for economic recovery because it would allow easier mobility for business people, investors and state officials.

The discussion for the arrangement is still ongoing, as Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi met with her Singaporean counterpart Vivian Balakrishnan in August.

Indonesia so far has travel corridor arrangements with the United Arab Emirates, South Korea and China.

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