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Indonesia’s heightened COVID-19 restrictions to lapse


Indonesia’s heightened COVID-19 restrictions to lapse

Photo: Antara Foto/Didik Suhartono/via Reuters

Heightened COVID-19 restrictions on domestic travel in Indonesia will end today.

Movement curbs on unvaccinated individuals will be lifted, and long-distance travelers will no longer be required to be fully vaccinated and present negative test results before departure.

The lifting of the requirementsintended to restrict travel over the holiday seasoncomes as Southeast Asia braces for a likely infection spike due to the Omicron variant. At less than 200 new daily cases, Indonesia’s COVID-19 figures are less than 1% of July’s peak of over 50,000. Still, with barely 50% of the country vaccinated, Indonesia is poorly positioned to withstand a highly infectious variant proven to be more vaccine resistant.

Expect Indonesia to reintroduce travel restrictions, as cases are likely to rise in the new year. Many Asian countries avoided surges through a mix of quarantine requirements and travel restrictions and are likely to continue such policies until vaccine uptake rises further. Indonesia’s vaccine campaign largely relied on Sinovac, which has a lower effectiveness against Omicron relative to other vaccines. Expect Indonesia to expand access to Moderna booster shots, previously offered to health care workers, to the general public early in 2022 as Indonesia races to prevent a likely surge.

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