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Indonesia Expands Hotel Quarantine Scheme
24 September 2020 | Written by Chris Alexander

Indonesia is expanding its network of hotels officially sanctioned for Covid-19 quarantine, with an investment of 100 billion rupiah (US$6.7 million) committed to bringing more properties into the fold. The new plan has been drawn up to help contain and curb the domestic spread of the virus in the short term, but could also provide the infrastructure needed to accommodate international tourists when travel restrictions are lifted. 

Under a new programme by Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy (MOTACE), the Ministry of Health and the Indonesia Hotel and Restaurant Association (IHRA), an extensive portfolio of three-star accommodation is being readied nationwide, with containment facilities and standardised health and safety protocols implemented in each location. These facilities will soon be ready to safely accommodate guests wishing to self-isolate, along with health professionals. If Indonesia should impose mandatory quarantine periods for foreign arrivals, these government-approved properties would be able to provide comfortable and safe accommodation to facilitate this transition period. 

This 14-day quarantine service will extend beyond accommodation to provide guests with meals, laundry and round-the-clock support from medical personnel, funded and provided by MOTACE. This will ensure that all isolation services adhere to officially sanctioned government regulations and international health and safety standards. According to Wishnutama Kusubandio, who is MOTACE minister, the scheme will first be rolled out in Jakarta and Bali, then expanded to include other Indonesian tourism hot spots such as West Java, North Sumatra and South Kalimantan. 

This week, Indonesia’s minister of health, Terawan Agus Putranto, confirmed the government would provide up to 15 two- and three-star hotels in Jakarta, providing a total of around 1,500 to 3,000 rooms approved for self-isolation and quarantine. So far, a range of popular hotel brands in Indonesia have been inspected and approved for the scheme. This group is reported to include Yello Hotels, Ibis, POP! Hotels, Mercure and Novotel in Jakarta, along with Ibis Kuta Bali and Novotel Banjarmasin Airport in South Kalimantan. 

Many other hotels are preparing for the New Normal by offering dedicated self-isolation packages at various levels of luxury, designed to cater to a wide range of returning guests and their respective budgets. For example, the five-star Grand Sahid Jaya Hotel in Jakarta currently provides its own luxury self-isolation package, with nightly rates ranging from 650,000 rupiah (US$44) to 900,000 rupiah (US$61). In addition to laundry services and meals, guests are provided with rapid swab tests and dedicated medical attention from doctors at Sahid Sahirman Medical Centre and Pelni Hospital. 

With a combination of state-run and private isolation programmes rolling out across hotels nationwide, Indonesia is preparing its tourism infrastructure for the post-pandemic travel landscape. As these containment protocols evolve into progressively more appealing staycation packages, the New Normal is becoming a more attractive prospect for returning tourists. With this infrastructure now in place, the wait continues for the lifting of Indonesia’s travel restrictions.