PCR test validity period for air passengers now 3x24 hours

PCR test validity period for air passengers now 3x24 hours

Passengers of Xiamen Airlines depart from Fuzhou, China on an over five-hour flight to Indonesia wearing hazmat suits on October 22, 2020. (ANTARA/M. Irfan Ilmie/rst)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The COVID-19 Handling Task Force has increased the validity period of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for domestic air travelers to 3x24 hours.

"The result of PCR test which was previously valid for 2 x 24 hours has changed to 3 x 24 hours," head of the health handling division of the COVID-19 Handling Task Force, Brigadier General (Ret.) Alexander Ginting, told ANTARA on Thursday afternoon.

This provision is disclosed in the Second Addendum to the Circular Letter of the COVID-19 Handling Task Force Number 21 of 2021 regarding the Domestic Travel Protocol (PPDN), which was signed by the head of the COVID-19 Handling Task Force, Lieutenant General Ganip Warsito, on Thursday, Ginting informed.

"The policy is based on inputs and evaluations regarding the limited PCR test kits outside Java and Bali," Ginting said.

He explained that changes were made to the "protocol section number 3 item c.bis" with the addition of a choice of 1x24 hour rapid antigen testing requirements, besides the 3x24 hour RT-PCR result for inter-district or inter-city trips outside Java and Bali.

He assured the policy on antigen test requirements for domestic travelers has not changed.

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"There is no change to the rapid antigen test requirement," Ginting informed.

The addendum is a derivative of the Minister of Home Affairs' Instruction Number 55 of 2021 concerning the Enforcement of Restrictions on Community Activities (PPKM), he said.

"The Second Addendum to this Circular Letter is effectively started from October 28, 2021 and will be evaluated further as needed," he informed.

Earlier, President Joko Widodo had requested all related stakeholders to extend the validity period of the PCR test. He had also asked that the price of PCR tests be lowered to Rp300 thousand, given that they are now mandatory for air travel.

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