Indonesia Expands Ban on Foreign Visitors Over Virus Strain

Indonesia has decided to impose a temporary ban on all foreigners from visiting the country on concern over the spread of a new variant of the coronavirus.

The restriction will apply from Jan. 1 to 14, with exceptions given to official visits by those holding ministerial-level positions or higher, said Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi in a Monday briefing. Non-citizens arriving from Monday onwards will have to undergo another test for the coronavirus, she added.

Indonesia follows other countries in stepping up border restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus variant, which may be as much as 70% more transmissible than other circulating strains. Southeast Asia’s largest economy has been shut to most foreign travelers since April, while allowing a few visitors to enter for business essential purposes. The country had considered reopening its borders as recently as October as the travel ban battered its tourism industry.

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