I am Owen Jenkins, the British Ambassador to Indonesia and Timor-Leste. I appreciate many of you may be following the news anxiously as the world confronts Covid-19 together. Our most important job as an embassy is the protection, health and safety of British citizens in Indonesia and Timor-Leste. I want to update you on our travel advice so you can make the right decisions for you and your family.
The Indonesian Government has been scaling up its response to the spread of Covid-19 by declaring it a national disaster. This has included measures that affect those travelling from the UK – for example, that visitors need to self-isolate on arrival to Indonesia; and also measures that affect those already here – both in their ability to travel within Indonesia, and onward to neighbouring countries (including for medical reasons).
Because of this and a combination of other factors – including the clear strain on medical services in this country – our ministers in London decided to make a change to our Travel Advice, which now advises against “all but essential travel” to Indonesia and Timor-Leste. We urge all British Citizens in both countries to consider very carefully whether or not their visiting or staying meets that condition.
Over 100 cases have been confirmed in Indonesia and a daily update on that figure is available on the Health Ministry website. Further restrictions on travelling within Indonesia or abroad may be introduced with little or no notice, and may limit your ability to travel or return to the UK.
The standard of local medical care in Indonesia and Timor-Leste may vary and some medical tests cannot be done reliably. There is a risk that the healthcare system will come under further strain as COVID-19 spreads. Medical evacuation may not be available or may be very expensive.
For British nationals residing in Indonesia and Timor-Leste, I advise you to remain calm and to continue to monitor reliable news sources as well as our Travel Advice.
We have a Consulate in Bali as well as our Embassy in Jakarta, and both stand ready to assist any distressed British national.
Please do everything you can to keep yourselves healthy. Wash your hands frequently and practice “social distancing” – avoid crowded locations and rush hours on public transport.
So in summary, stay calm, keep your distance and wash your hands! And please consider whether your visit to or stay in Indonesia or Timor Leste, is indeed essential.
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