Air passengers will no longer be required to undergo the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for Covid-19, a senior minister said on Monday.

The decision came as Indonesia is recovering from the deadly pandemic which so far has killed more than 143,000 people in Southeast Asia’s biggest country.

But daily Covid-19 cases have fallen below the 1,000 mark and the daily death toll dropped under 50 over the past few weeks.

“Air travels across Java and Bali no longer require a PCR test, but passengers still need to undergo antigen tests,” Muhadjir Effendy, the coordinating minister for human development and culture, told a news conference in Jakarta.

Passengers are also required to show proof that they have taken at least a single dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

There have been growing protests among Indonesian airlines and passengers against the PCR test requirement because it’s both costly and slow in delivering a result.

President Joko Widodo has earlier decided to cut the ceiling PCR test tariff to around $21 but public objection still persists.

The preferred option is a cheaper and quicker antibody test called antigen.

The number of domestic air passengers soared by 84 percent to 2 million in September when the government began to ease travel restrictions, in comparison to the previous month, the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) announced on Monday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *