Jakarta (ANTARA) - The COVID-19 Handling Task Force issued Circulation Letter (CL) No. 24 of 2022 on Domestic Traveling Requirement during the COVID-19 Pandemic on August 25, 2022.

The CL 24 of 2022 was issued to follow up on changes in the COVID-19 situation as well as the national economic recovery efforts.

The circulation letter, signed by the COVID-19 Handling Task Force's Head Lieutenant General Suharyanto, is a form of adjustment to several stipulations from CL 23 of 2022 that already existed.

The latest aspect stipulated in CL 24 of 2022, which differentiates it from the earlier circulation letter, CL 23 of 2022, is the removal of the testing mandate for domestic travelers.

However, before delving into CL 24 of 2022, let us look at the regulations in CL 23 of 2022.

CL 23 of 2022 stipulated that domestic travelers, aged 18 years and above, who have not received booster vaccination but have received the first or second dose vaccination, must show a negative PCR test result.

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Moreover, domestic travelers with special health conditions must show a negative PCR test result and medical certificate from government hospitals that states that they cannot and/or are not yet able to undergo vaccination.

Meanwhile, domestic travelers, aged 6-17 years, that have received the second dose vaccination were not obligated to show negative PCR or antigen test results. Those who only received the first dose must show a negative test result.

Domestic travelers under the age of six were exempted from the vaccination mandate and not obligated to show negative PCR or antigen test results.

Let us now look into the latest circulation letter, CL 24 of 2022.

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It contains a new regulation wherein the government has revoked PCR and antigen tests for domestic travelers, though has mandated the third dose or booster vaccination.

In other words, those who have not completed their vaccination should do so starting from the first dose to the booster dose.

Those who have not completed their vaccination are recommended to delay domestic travel and look for the nearest vaccination center to be able to undertake domestic travel once more.

Meanwhile, people over the age of 18, who have received booster, or people in the age bracket of 6-17 years and have been administered the second dose vaccine are allowed to conduct travel without testing.

According to CL 24 of 2022, people with special health conditions or having comorbidities that made it impossible for them to receive vaccination are exempted from the vaccination requirement.

However, they should show the medical certificate from government hospitals which states that they cannot and/or are not yet able to undergone COVID-19 vaccination.

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While the testing mandate for travelers had been revoked, the government continues to bolster vigil and exercise caution by strengthening dissemination and education on health protocols to improve the people's awareness and understanding.

In addition, the Indonesian government demonstrates its commitment to intensify active surveillance through the health office network in regions to support the principle of carefulness.

Surveillance or constant monitoring of COVID-19 data should continue to be conducted along with optimal education and dissemination of information on the importance of health protocols.

The policy to revoke testing for domestic travelers is intended to improve the rate of complete dose vaccination and maximize immunity that already exists by bolstering safe and controlled activities.

However, dissemination on bolstering the implementation of health protocols should also continue to be expanded.

With this, complete booster dose vaccination and also implementation of health protocols, such as wearing a mask, washing hands, and maintaining distance, will provide optimal protection to the people.

This is important amid the prevailing trend of an increase in COVID-19 cases in the country.

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Vaccination coverage

The policy that the government implements by mandating booster as a condition for travel and to enter public facilities aims to expand the coverage for booster dose vaccination.

We believe that this government's policy is a correct move to improve the rate of booster vaccination coverage.

Booster dose vaccination will improve the immunity of individuals that have been administered the vaccine.

Hence, booster vaccination is important in order to respond to the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases that occurred recently that led to the emergence of new sub-variants.

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With this, as a form of collective awareness, expanding vaccination coverage to the booster dose and bolstering health protocol implementation should become a priority.

Realizing this necessitates the active role of all parties, including the people, to immediately complement themselves with booster dose vaccination.

This is because the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over. To this end, collective momentum and efforts are necessary to handle the spread of this communicable disease.

It should be remembered that in the effort to handle a disease, especially the COVID-19, everyone plays an important role.

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Translator: Wuryanti P, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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