The Rapid Backtrack: Antigen tests will be accepted for flights within Java and Bali
It is as if we have traveled back in time and landed at the start of the pandemic; a period of mixed messages and constant hindsight on COVID-19 regulations.
Today, the Minister responsible for the coordination of human development and culture, Muhadjir Effendy, said the government is reinstating rapid antigen testing as an accepted COVID-19 screening tool for air travel to Java and Bali.
“The antigen test is sufficient,” Muhadjir said at a virtual press conference on the evaluation of the Public Activity Restriction Enforcement Protocol (PPKM) today.
“This is in accordance with a recommendation from the Minister of the Interior (Tito Karnavian).”
It was not until October 19 that the government made negative PCR test results mandatory for boarding all domestic flights to minimize false negatives and prevent another outbreak of COVID-19 before the end of vacation. ‘year. Amid public outcry over the financial hurdle this posed to ordinary Indonesians, the government last week lowered the ceiling price for a PCR test from IDR 495K (US $ 35) to IDR 275K (US $ 19). ).
Strict testing policies have also started to be rolled out for other modes of transport, as part of the government’s plan for even more extensive use of PCR testing, as it is the diagnostic tool. Benchmark COVID-19.
Related – COVID-19 test mandatory on road trips over 250 km: Ministry of Transport
The government’s backlash to allow rapid antigen testing on domestic flights curiously goes against its official position over the past two weeks. Muhadjir, who made a rare appearance at the press conference in place of the regular announcer of PPKM updates, coordinator of Minister of Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Pandjaitan, did not give an update. reason for the change of government plan.
The moment of politics, whether directly related or not, coincided with a presentation from the local news magazine Tempo, who reported that Luhut may have commercial ties with companies that run PCR testing labs.
Regardless, the Department of Transportation said the new policy would come into effect after the Interior Department and the COVID-19 task force issued a new circular on domestic travel.