Indonesia, like all the other countries beset with the COVID-19 pandemic, has changed their policies regarding immigration and entry into their territory to resist the inevitable and rapid spread of the disease, and those measures include obliging travelers to fulfill all Indonesia COVID-19 Health Alert Card requirements in line with the Health Alert Card campaign. All of these measures are in line with the government's efforts to control the transmission of the disease and protect travelers and their citizens as well.
There is quite a bit of disruption that the global spread of the coronavirus has caused over the last several months when it was designated a pandemic. This stems from the fact that the virus is easily transferred from one person to another through simple physical contact or breathing in the airborne virus. And none are more at risk than people congregating in airports and seaports since they are near each other and they have different destinations where they would be able to spread the virus.
How the Coronavirus Outbreak is Affecting International Travel?
The disease known as COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. It is the second SARS-causing coronavirus in known human history. The 19 in its name is from the year 2019, which is it was discovered and identified. The virus is one of the most feared in recent history because it is one of the most easily transmissible diseases, and people can be infected by inhaling the airborne pathogen or through physical contact. Because of this, the disease has designated a pandemic in just a few short weeks.
The consensus of the scientific and health communities is that the virus came from the region of the mainland People’s Republic of China called Hunan, and an area is known for its market of exotic food items. That includes sellers that put bats, which is the only known host for the virus before it infects the human body, up for sale. They are selling mostly for people who want to eat bat soup and other exotic dishes, and this may well have been the reason for the pandemic, though nobody can be sure for the moment.
A few weeks after the virus has been discovered and identified, the disease achieved a pandemic status and has become a global threat. This is due to the risk it poses to patients who are very vulnerable to it. The symptoms shown by patients include a thickening of the mucous layer covering the air sacs and the pulmonary airways leading up to it. Mucus in the lungs needs to be fluid for oxygen to be dissolved into it. This dissolved oxygen will be absorbed by the bloodstream and then distributed to the rest of the body, maintaining overall health.
Once the mucus thickens, it carries less oxygen, and the level of oxygen found in the bloodstream, known as the oxygen saturation, dips because there is less oxygen to absorb. The body feels like it is drowning due to the lack of oxygen in the blood, organs begin to malfunction, and eventually, the organs fail and the body dies due to hypoxia.
Learn more about the Indonesia Health Alert Card here.
The Disease Spreads
Before the current coronavirus outbreak, international travel is very easy, as it is an avenue for countries to generate revenue through tourism. Being unaware that they are infected with the disease, many tourists that visited Wuhan infected other tourists who are going to other places. In this way, a disease that was found in a relatively small region in mainland China was spread to other countries in record time.
The hardest-hit countries are those with the most people going into them for tourism and other purposes. One of the most affected countries in Europe is Italy, known for one of the most tourist-friendly countries in the world. The United States was also hit pretty bad, with the death toll well into the thousands. In Asia, Indonesia suffered as well because of its tourist economy.
Indonesia’s Response to the Crisis
There is a current ban on all non-Indonesian travelers, except for a select few, to Indonesia, in response to the growing threat of the disease spreading across the country. Travelers who are allowed to enter Indonesia must carry specific documentation for the border authorities to allow them entry. The stipulations on the policy were put forth by the Ministry of Law and Human Rights.
Here are the exceptions to the travel ban for all non-Indonesians:
- Foreigners must have Diplomatic Stay Permits or Service Stay Permits.
- Foreigners who are carrying Indonesian Diplomatic Visas or Service Visas are allowed to enter.
- Foreigners who hold Temporary Stay Permit Cards (KITAS) or Permanent Stay Permit Cards (KITAP) will be allowed to enter the country.
- Foreigners working with the government of Indonesia on strategic national projects are allowed to stay within the territory.
- Medical Aid Workers and Food Sustenance Workers, essential services for the Indonesian citizens, will be allowed to enter.
- All crew members of the transport companies are welcome to stay, as well.
However, all of them must be able to present a Health Alert Card coming from their home countries as soon as they are in their point of entry. A Health Alert Card shows that the entrant is free from COVID-19 as corroborated by the health authorities from their respective countries of origin. For the certificate to be accepted by Indonesian port health authorities, it needs to be in English. It also needs to show that the entrant has a non-reactive result on a COVID-19 Rapid Test. The result will be valid for 3 days at the most so time of the essence. You can also have an RT-PCR (or Polymerase Chain Reaction) test that is valid for 7 days maximum. Your Health Certificate may also show that you are not exhibiting any flu-like symptoms if you are in an area without any testing facilities, but this must be provided by a doctor from a public health facility or hospital.
The entrant may also be required to submit to further testing and quarantine if the Health Alert Card does not have any of these. But they will be allowed to enter the country, and that is what is important.
A voyager needs to learn of the restrictions that their destination is putting in place to combat the spread of the coronavirus.