Coronavirus – Can you still travel to Indonesia?

by Annabell Welling | 25th March 2020

Starting in China, the novel coronavirus has spread around the globe – the number of infected persons is constantly increasing. Worldwide, a high number of cases in several different countries have been reported. But what does this mean for a journey to Indonesia and how is the situation on the ground?

The fear of infection among many people, especially among travelers who are planning a trip to Asia, is currently great. The coronavirus can be transmitted from person to person mainly by contact and droplet infection – i.e. by direct coughing or physical contact with an infected person.

The symptoms of the coronavirus are quite similar to those of influenza or lung inflammation. Sick people suffer from fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle pain and tiredness – sometimes also headaches or diarrhea. However, the problem is that it can take up to 14 days before the first symptoms appear. Hence, the transmission to other people may already occur when the infected person has no suspicious symptoms.

As you can see in your local news the COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in continents. In China, the outbreak has been under control for a while and numbers are not growing. Other Asian countries are reporting growing numbers but compared to Europe at a much lower level, such as Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Korea, and Japan.

How is the situation in Indonesia? Is Indonesia prepared for the coronavirus?

According to the World’s Health Organisation, there are some confirmed cases of coronavirus in Indonesia. If you want to get reliable and current information about the spread of the coronavirus in Indonesia, you can check the latest news from the Jakarta Post here. Indonesia is a very big country with more than 260 Mio. inhabitants, there is a chance that official numbers of the cases are not exactly representing reality. As a precautionary measure, the Indonesian government has designated hundreds of hospitals as referral hospitals for COVID-19 specific issues.

A global travel warning is in place and currently it is not recommended to go on unnecessary journeys. For foreigners of affected countries, the Indonesian government does not allow travelers to enter the country. In some cases, travelers need to be in quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.

The numbers in Indonesia are currently rising and they are expected to grow further before this is under control.  

What does that mean for my booking? And what do I need to consider during my planning?

As a consequence of the COVID-19 outbreak, many Airlines suspended or significantly reduced their operations, i.e. Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Easy Jet, Air Aisa, and others will follow. Therefore, it is advisable to always check the current status of your flight before you start your journey and to keep an eye on the entry regulations and the situation in the destination and your transit country before booking. These may change at short notice due to the current situation.

However, several airlines i.e. Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways or Lufthansa offer free rebooking or ticket refunds in the context of the Coronavirus, if your flight was canceled or if you are unable to travel due to changed entry regulations.

As for every trip, a travel cancellation insurance and health insurance are also recommended for a journey to Indonesia. However, you should carefully check before taking out the travel cancellation insurance if it covers the costs of your trip in case of a pandemic. Most insurances do not cover any costs if travelers cancel a trip to their destination because of fear of the novel coronavirus, you will find that in your policy under the section of FORCE MAJEURE. Of course, your travel health insurance would cover the costs of treatment in case of suspected coronavirus infection during your trip.

Regarding your booked trip with Wise Steps Travel, a deposit of 20% has to be paid on the confirmation of booking. However, the balance is payable at least 6 weeks before your departure, so that you can better estimate the situation closer to the departure date. Nevertheless, as a regional, responsible tour operator, we will work hard to ensure that you get your money back in case of cancellation of flights or if you are not able to travel. Otherwise, we are offering to postpone the journey to a future date. However, case-by-case consideration is necessary to find out about the actual costs. The cancellation policy is still valid.

Where can I get further reliable information?

In addition to the Jakarta Post, you can check the website of the Federal Foreign Office of your country for the general situation in Indonesia. As already mentioned, you will find an official travel warning there, if it will be issued.

Further, you can have a look at the publications of the World’s Health Organisation. You will find daily reports of the worldwide spread of the coronavirus as well as official travel advice here.

How can I protect myself during my travel?

The protective measures are similar to those for influenza. You should pay special attention to the following points:

  • Make sure that you wash your hands well and frequently
  • Bring disinfectant wipes for your trip
  • Avoid crowded rooms and crowds
  • Ventilate your rooms well
  • Eat animal foods such as eggs and meat only if they have been heated well
  • Should you feel any symptoms please wear a mask to protect others and look for the nearest doctor or hospital.

Please contact us for more detailed information about the current situation in Indonesia.

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