We get this question asked quite often. Many of our guests and friends want to know when they can travel to Indonesia, and what about the current situation here. So we decided to summarise some points and write another news post.
It looks like that traveling is back, and many dive destinations have been re-opened for tourism. Here in Indonesia the situation is still different. People are trying to survive, companies are struggling for its existence, and everyone wants to believe in future.
Enforcement of Community Activity Restrictions since July 2021
Since 3rd July 2021 the Indonesian government has implemented some restrictions on community activities, shortly called PPKM in Indonesian (Pemberlakuan Pembatasan Kegiatan Masyararat). These restrictions have been valid for the first period until 20th of July, but have been extended four times already. The latest extension is valid until 30th of August.
According to news and some public reports the increasing number of Covid-19 positive cases at the beginning of July has been the reason for the implementation of the new restrictions. With 56,767 new positive cases on 15th July being the highest number so far (source: covid19.go.id)
What do these restrictions mean?
Companies of non-essential sector must send 100% of their employees to homeworking. Businesses of general sector such as finance, banks, communication, export, and accommodation without quarantine can have 50% of their employees working from the office using strict health protocols. And only enterprises of critically-essential sector, for example energy, health care, food, vital assets of national importance, disaster management, construction, can work 100% from the office using strict health protocols.
All schools are back to online teaching.
Apart from the pharmacies that can operate 24 hours all supermarkets, traditional markets, food shops and shops selling basic necessities are open until 8 or 9 p.m. only.
Catering facilities, for example restaurants, local eateries, cafes can operate on take-away or delivery service. However, in some regions they can also operate with a maximum capacity up to 25% until 9 p.m. But, guests are allowed to dine in for 30 minutes only.
The main restrictions apply to Java and Bali islands as well as to other regions that are categorised level 3 or 4 (4 = highest numbers). Hence depending on the region public places such as beach, parks, sightseeing points are temporarily closed.
Temples on Bali are also closed for ceremonies or touristic visits.
Cultural events, social events, arts, sports have been cancelled for the period of PPKM.
Wearing mask outside and in public places is mandatory. There are check-points and high penalties apply for non-compliance. Foreign citizens might even be deported depending on the seriousness of the break of rules.
Passengers travelling on domestic flights, on busses or trains must show a certification of the vaccine or at least the first jab as well as a negative PCR test not elder than 48 hours. For all long distance travels on any other vehicle (e.g. your private car) a negative antigen test valid 24 hours is required.
The grade of implementation depends on the regional government and the risk level of the region. Our region Labuan Bajo has been classified at level 3 so far.
How can I travel to Indonesia?
Frankly spoken, the borders for foreign tourists are still closed as it already has been since March 2020. Until the implementation of PPKM in July 2021 foreign citizens could enter Indonesia with a business purpose on a business visa.
Currently only Indonesian citizens, diplomats, holders of official visas, holders of temporary or permanent residence permits as well as foreign citizens arriving for humanitarian or medical purposes and crews can enter the country.
All international flights arrive in the capital Jakarta only. On arrival, all passengers must show a certificate of being fully vaccinated and a negative PCR test not elder than 72 hours in English language.
Furthermore, and nevertheless, all passengers must hold an 8-days-quarantine in one of the hotels designated by the government and do a PCR test twice (first one on the arrival day and second one on the eighth day). At the end of the quarantine time and provided both PCR tests have been negative the passenger receives a “travel letter” allowing continuing the journey within Indonesia.
When and how the conditions for entering the country will be changed is uncertain.
What is the situation at our location – Komodo?
At time of writing, due to the Covid-19 restrictions Komodo National Park is open for domestic tourism only.
However, with Java and Bali being the main domestic markets there are hardly any tourists in Labuan Bajo as those regions are under the strict PPKM restrictions.
In addition to that all flights connecting Labuan Bajo with Bali and Java have been suspended during the month of August.
Hence, let’s not hide it; the situation is very difficult for many companies … big or small. There has been no business for the last 17 months. A trip now and then is just a drop on a hot stone for a dive centre. We’d love to write only great and positive news but let’s stick to the reality.
The Covid-19-situation makes its hard to survive. A dive centre, and especially one with a wooden boat, has running costs per month that need to be paid even though there is no income. The staff needs salaries as they have to feed their families.
The measurements of PPKM have been extended several times which makes planning a bit more challenging.
Nevertheless, we are open. We are still here and we still strive to survive. We have a strong responsibility for our team, for our company and for ourselves. Our boat is well maintained and ready for guests, our team has been fully vaccinated, and we all exercise inexhaustible patience and believe in our future.
Hence, we have created new routines. Routines became crucial for us to stay positive and motivated. We create detailed to-do-lists for all team members. This way everyone feels needed and important during this crisis time. It also helps us to keep track of what we have done and achieved so far. Every little finished task is ticked off with a big smile and celebrated that again brings positive feelings.
We believe that now it is more important than ever to stay connected, inspired, motivated and to keep our minds positive.
Wet Frog Divers
We are a SSI dive centre in Labuan Bajo, Flores, Komodo, located inside the 4* Bintang Flores Hotel. We offer daytrips for diving in Komodo on our own boat as well as a wide range of dive courses. Book your Komodo experience with us. Follow us on Instagram, YouTube or Facebook. See you soon under water.