Indonesia considers opening its borders to foreign travellers

The issue is still being discussed by various authorities.
The issue is still being discussed by various authorities.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

JAKARTA (BLOOMBERG) - Indonesia is considering to reopen its international borders to regular travellers, even as it struggles with the region's largest virus outbreak.

The issue is still being discussed by various authorities and the government hasn't set a time frame for when a decision would be made, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said in a Thursday (Oct 22) briefing.

South-east Asia's largest economy has shut its borders to international visitors since April.

An earlier plan to reopen tourist hot spot Bali to foreign travellers in September was scuppered as coronavirus infections continued to spread across the country.

The pandemic is set to tip the economy into its first annual contraction since the Asian financial crisis.

The border reopening could be a boon for regional airlines including PT Garuda Indonesia and AirAsia Group, which have struggled with the drop in travel.

Indonesia reported 4,432 new cases in the 24 hours through midday on Thursday, the most since Oct 11, bringing the total to 377,541.

It overtook the Philippines last week to have the largest number of confirmed virus cases in the region.