Indonesia lifts outdoor mask mandate as COVID-19 wanes

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia is lifting its outdoor mask mandate because its COVID-19 outbreak is growing under control, President Joko Widodo said Tuesday. However, a mask mandate remains in place for indoor activities and public transport, he said.

Widodo also said that all fully vaccinated travelers will no longer be required to undergo COVID-19 tests to enter Indonesia.

The announcements came two weeks after millions of Indonesians celebrated the Eid al-Fitr holiday at the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan by traveling to see their families, ending two years of pandemic restrictions and travel restrictions. COVID-19 cases have continued to decline, prompting the government to relax its mask policy.

“When people are doing outdoor activities or in open areas that are not crowded with people, they are allowed not to wear masks,” Widodo said in a televised address.

In March, Indonesia lifted quarantine requirements for foreign visitors, joining a number of other countries in the region, including Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines, which have announced or have already taken such measures.

The country has largely recovered since an outbreak caused by omicron peaked at around 64,700 cases a day in mid-February. New confirmed daily infections have fallen to around 200, and around 80% of the eligible population of 208 million have been fully immunized.

The government has already lifted many restrictions on social mobility that had been in place for two years.

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