Home/ News / Indonesia scraps mask mandate, finally ending Covid pandemic restrictions

Indonesia will do away with indoor mask mandates and remove the requirement to show proof of vaccination when entering buildings, becoming one of the last few countries to completely end Covid-19 restrictions. 

The changes will take effect from Friday and decision was taken as almost all of Indonesia’s population had immunity against the virus, said President Joko Widodo, who is popularly known as Jokowi.  

“We once failed in containing Covid, but now we are among the few countries that did not experience a pandemic wave in past 10 to 11 consecutive months," he told a media briefing in Jakarta. “What does this mean? It means this removal is not arbitrary, it is based on science."

Jokowi reiterated that Indonesia would not impose new travel curbs, in response to a question about rising cases in China is expected to open its borders soon. Nevertheless, Home Affairs Minister Tito Karnavian said the government may reimpose curbs if domestic cases surged again.

Once a global epicenter of Covid-19, Indonesia ending virus curbs completely will spur business activities and help sustain recovery in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy. The country began easing restrictions earlier in the year, removing quarantine requirements for foreign travelers in March as well as the need to wear masks outdoors. 

Elsewhere in Asia, many are now embracing normalcy. Countries from Japan to Thailand have eliminated mask mandates and fully opened their borders to tourists. Hong Kong has eased its last remaining pandemic curbs, while China is gradually unwinding its Covid-zero policy and preparing to reopen its borders in January. 

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Updated: 30 Dec 2022, 02:35 PM IST
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