JAKARTA, Indonesia: Indonesia’s tourism minister has said that the country has removed its quarantine requirement for all arrivals from overseas, in response to improvements in its containment of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During a news conference, minister Sandiaga Uno said the decision, effective immediately, follows the successful implementation of a quarantine waiver this month for visitors vaccinated against COVID-19 on the islands of Bali, Batam and Bintan.

“With the handling of the pandemic more controlled today, we announce that the policy of no quarantine has been expanded across Indonesia,” he added, stressing that a negative COVID test would still be required for entry into the country.

The waiver follows similar moves by Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Malaysia, which aim to rebuild their travel sectors, which collapsed under tight restrictions imposed to slow the spread of Covid.

A visa-on-arrival policy is already in effect in Bali covering 42 countries, with an exemption for visitors from Southeast Asian nations, but it is not clear if the same rules would apply outside Bali.

Last week, a senior minister said the visa-on-arrival would be expanded to include the capital, Jakarta, and Surabaya.

In January, some 143,700 foreign tourists visited Indonesia, up 13.6 percent from one year earlier, but far below pre-pandemic levels of over 1 million visitors per month.

Sandiaga said the government will revise its target for 1.8 million to 3.6 million visitors this year, adding he was “fairly optimistic that there will be an upside surprise.”

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