Booster shots for international travelers off the table

Less than a week ago, Indonesia announced that it would ask visitors to show proof of a Booster Covid-19 vaccine in a matter of two weeks. The news was announced by Java-Bali Covid-19 Restriction Coordinator Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan.

“The government will also reimplement the requirement for booster vaccination as a condition for air, land and sea travel, which will be carried out in a maximum of two weeks… [venues] how malls and offices will change for booster shots [centers]”. Pandjaitan said at a press conference

Now, it appears the government has thought twice about the possible consequences for the tourism sector.

According to documents issued by the Indonesian government, the changes to travel regulations that take effect on July 17 only apply to Indonesian nationals.

bali plane landing

Indonesian nationals wishing to travel by plane within the country or abroad will be required to provide confirmation of their booster vaccination from 17 July.

If, for whatever reason, they have not yet received the booster dose, they can obtain it at all legal entry points into Indonesia, including airports.

The new travel rules for Indonesian citizens are detailed on government Covid-19 information website.

In summary, Bali stated that vaccination requirements for international visitors have not changed.

Fully vaccinated travelers also do not need a PCR test before arriving in Indonesia.

Countries with large numbers of international tourists to Bali, such as Australia and New Zealand, are starting national discussions on the possible need for booster vaccinations in the near future.

Last Thursday, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said booster vaccines are necessary for all populations.

He told the media that carrying out a booster vaccination campaign in Australia is a “matter of urgency” and an “unavoidable” aspect of the pandemic.

The change in travel regulations for Indonesian citizens comes at a time when the government is trying to meet vaccination targets.

For booster vaccinations, coverage is only 24% of the fully vaccinated population, compared to 81% coverage with the second vaccine. The renewed focus on Indonesia’s booster vaccination program comes as case rates continue to rise across the country, including Bali.

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