Ombudsman finds discrepancy in COVID-19 test requirements at Kualanamu

Ombudsman finds discrepancy in COVID-19 test requirements at Kualanamu

Officers of the Ombudsman office in North Sumatra conducting an inspection at the Kualanamu International Airport, Deli Serdang, North Sumatra. (ANTARA/HO).

Medan, North Sumatra (ANTARA) - The Ombudsman office in North Sumatra drew attention to a discrepancy in the COVID-19 test certificate requirement for aircrew and passengers of flights departing from the Kualanamu International Airport, Deli Serdang, North Sumatra.

The Ombudsman observed that while passengers were required to show the COVID-19 PCR test result certificate, as per the latest Health Ministry's regulation, the aircrew were allowed to present the more affordable, easier COVID-19 antigen test result certificate instead.

"We have found this issue during our inspection at the Kualanamu International Airport," Ombudsman's North Sumatra office head, Abyadi Siregar, stated in Medan on Thursday.

The requirement for aircrews to present only the COVID-19 antigen test certificates is not violating the Transportation Ministry’s regulation on domestic travellers' control that provides aircrew with choices to present either the COVID-19 PCR or antigen test certificate before their flights, the office head noted.

"This means aircrew members are allowed to present only the COVID-19 antigen test certificate," Siregar noted.

The ombudsman remarked that the regulation also provided a seven-day validity period for air crew's COVID-19 test certificate, while the test certificate validity periods for passengers were much shorter.

Related news: PCR test validity period for air passengers now 3x24 hours

Although the test certificate requirement for aircrew comes under the scope of the regulation, Siregar contended that the regulation was not appropriate, as aircrew and passengers are equally likely to spread or be infected by the COVID-19 virus, he noted.

Siregar suggested the authority to revise the travel control regulation and remove the COVID-19 test certificate requirement discrepancy between aircrew and passengers.

Earlier, the Home Affairs Ministry had issued a regulation stipulating that only PCR test certificates, with a validity period of 2x24 hours, are accepted for air passengers despite the earlier regulation allowing passengers to present the more affordable, easier COVID-19 antigen test result certificate.

Although the authority stated that the new regulation is necessary for mobility control amid the COVID-19 pandemic, several parties decried the regulation as disadvantageous to the recovery of the country's tourism industry.

Related news: Bali Deputy Governor warns against inflating PCR test price

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