The step is being taken as a follow-up to President Joko Widodo's instructions and by taking into account the controlled situation of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. The new regulation nixes the rule for donning masks in open spaces that are not crowded with people.
It also lifts the obligation for vaccinated travelers, both domestic and international, to show COVID-19 test results, government spokesperson for COVID-19 handling, Prof. Wiku Adisasmito, said at an online press conference, accessed from here on Tuesday.
However, vulnerable people and those who are feeling unwell are advised to keep their masks on to prevent COVID-19 transmission.
"With the elaboration of this presidential directive, several changes to the COVID-19 handling policy will be made, namely those related to domestic and foreign travelers, starting May 18, 2022, or tomorrow," he informed.
The spokesperson emphasized that even though the government has allowed public activities to increase, people are still being asked to get vaccinated, implement a healthy lifestyle, and comply with the COVID-19 health protocols.
"The pandemic has not officially ended as per the WHO. Of course, this decision has considered the development of cases nationally and globally and continued to pay attention to the precautionary principle," he said.
He informed that the government is striving to recover the national economy, which has been affected by the pandemic that has lasted two years.
"Of course, we hope this policy can be implemented well. However, the community is expected to remain alert and adaptive to changes in the future," Adisasmito remarked.
The first case of COVID-19 in Indonesia was confirmed in March 2020. According to data from the COVID-19 Handling Task Force, as of May 17, the nation has recorded a total of 6,051,205 COVID-19 cases, 5,890,826 recoveries, and 156,481 deaths.
Related news: DPD speaker pushes eco-friendly face masks, safe disposal
Related news: Assist Indonesia's MSMEs to produce standardised face masks: Indef