Since mid-March COVID-19 case detections have plateaued at approximately 5,000, half of January’s rate. Jakarta is no longer the engine for case growth; its share of national cases is down to 15%. The Idul Fitri period (May 13-24) presents a risk. Even with the travel ban ordered by the government, many people will still travel, and families could have large gatherings to celebrate the end of the fasting month. Cases of forged PCR tests, Indian nationals paying bribes to middleman to arrange travel unchecked through Jakarta’s airport, and the publicity surrounding the reuse of test kits at Medan Airport, have sent shock waves through Indonesia’s media. Indonesia’s vaccine rollout has been hampered by supply issues more than logistics.
Indonesia has not yet opened access for visa-on-arrival and visa-free during the COVID-19 pandemic, except for foreigners with essential purposes such as businesses, works, or humanitarian reasons. Visit Indonesian Immigration (https://www.imigrasi.go.id) and the Indonesian Embassy (https://kemlu.go.id/washington/en) for updated visa and entry requirements as regulations may change frequently.
Port of entry for international flights remains Jakarta for most flights.
AICC Member, PT Cekindo can help secure business visas.
The current situation is that you need to have a local sponsor to obtain a visa and you have to undergo a 5-night quarantine The local sponsor applies directly to Indonesia’s immigration department. Jakarta is currently the only port of entry; you fly to other regions (i.e. Bali) from there.
AICC member PT Cekindo is currently arranged business visas if you do not have a local sponsor. Contact: Vincent Cellier email@example.com
You can choose your hotel (if its set up for quarantining guests) rather than government designated ones. Among the hotels offering the service (booked in advance online) are Shangri-La, Grand Hyatt, Ritz Carlton, Mandarin Oriental). Each of them arranges pick up at the airport, a necessity to prove quarantine. One member who has done this reports that the nightly rate is capped at $100.
When to Travel: If your plan is to travel outside of Jakarta it may be advisable to avoid travel during mudik (end of fasting, return home period) May 6-24, as a travel ban will be imposed.
India Travel Ban: Following an unprecedented increase in COVID-19 cases in the Indian subcontinent, Indonesia has temporarily closed its borders to Indian travelers, effective 25 April 2021. 2 cases have been reported of the B.1.617 variant, first detected in India.
· Inflation Creeps Up: Traffic appears back to pre-pandemic levels in Jakarta and Indonesians are busy making final purchases for the end of the fasting month celebrations (May 12, 13). Indonesia’s inflation rate picked up in April amid growing demand for staple foods, although the increase remains muted compared to prepandemic levels due to the ongoing mobility restrictions. Statistics Indonesia (BPS) reported Monday that the consumer price index rose 0.13 percent in the month of April and 1.42 percent on an annual basis, both of which were lower than the inflation rates seen in April last year, when mobility restrictions were much tighter.
· Investment Picking Up: The foreign direct investments into Indonesia has grown rapidly first quarter this year, reflecting investors’ confidence in Indonesia’s structural reform as global investments activities start to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic slump. The FDI rose 14 percent to Rp 111.7 trillion ($7.7 billion) in the January to March period from the same period last year, following a 5.5 percent rise in the previous.That was the fastest year-on-year, first-quarter growth pace in the past five years. The BKPM data exclude investment in oil and gas and banking and financial sectors.
· Labor Protests: About 50,000 workers from 3,000 companies and factories were expected to take part in traditional May Day marches in 200 cities and districts in Southeast Asia’s largest economy, said Said Iqbal, the president of the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions. However, most rallies are held outside factories or company
Cabinet Changes: President Jokowi upgraded the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) to a Ministry; its chairman Bahlil Lahadalia remains in place. The responsibilities for national research and technology programs (previously a separate ministry) has moved under the Ministry of Education and Culture headed by Nadiem Makarim. The media has overplayed the changes as a “reshuffle or shakeup” when more realistically it is a realignment. The consolidation could help the long awaited full functioning of an online business licensing process (OSS). Other rumored changes to the President’s inner circle (State Secretary, Chief of Staff) did not happen, or least not now.
(sources: International and Indonesia news media, Bali Update (from balidiscovery.com), Reformasi Weekly, US Embassy website)