Indonesia bans international visitors for 2 weeks over new virus strain

FILE PHOTO: Passengers wearing protective face masks walk at the Soekarno-Hatta Airport amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Tangerang, on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia December 23, 2020. Antara Foto/Muhammad Iqbal/via Reuters

JAKARTA (Reuters) – International visitors will be barred from entering Indonesia for a two-week period in a bid to stem the spread of a new potentially more contagious strain of the coronavirus, its foreign minister Retno Marsudi said on Monday.

The new regulation, effective Jan. 1, comes days after Indonesia banned travelers from the Britain and tightened rules for those arriving from Europe and Australia to limit the spread of the new strain.

Earlier this year Indonesia banned all tourists but some exemptions have been made for business travelers. The new regulation applies to all foreign visitors with the exception of high-level government officials, she said.

Reporting by Stanley Widianto; Writing by Kate Lamb; Editing by Martin Petty