The Papua Blog

Travel to Papua during Corona

Travel regulations for Papua and West Papua

Words and photos by Papua Explorer

We traveled to Papua earlier this year and experienced all the Corona travel regulations ourselves. At the end of December 2020, we first went to Sorong and Raja Ampat for a week. Then we flew from Sorong via Jayapura to Wamena in the Baliem Valley, where we stayed for 30 days.  Below is a brief explanation of the current Corona travel situation in Papua and West Papua, based on our travel experiences and current news.

This text is not updated regularly and the situation may change daily.
Please check again for the current situation or ask us before you leave.
Last updated 25 March 2021

Travel to Papua during Corona
JAYAPURA
There are still daily flights to Jayapura. Most flights are from Jakarta or Makassar, but there is also a daily direct flight from Sorong.

For entry into Papua via Jayapura, each passenger currently requires a negative PCR swab test no older than 3 days or an antigen test no older than 2 days. Furthermore, one must have the Indonesian Corona app “eHac” installed and filled out. This app is required for any travel within Indonesia and can be downloaded from any app store.
Both before departure and after landing in Jayapura, the test result and the correctly completed Corona app will be checked. If everything is in order, you get a stamp and can move freely from then on. The only exception: flights to Wamena.
 

WAMENA AND BALIEM VALLEY
There are still several daily flights from Jayapura to Wamena, although somewhat fewer than before the Corona pandemic. However, there is a special regulation for the journey to Wamena and the Baliem Valley: Everyone who wants to fly to Wamena has to take an extra corona test at the earliest one day before departure. This test must be done in Jayapura. All previous tests will not be recognized. For the test, a testing station has been set up by the local government near the Jayapura airport. A low-cost blood test is performed at this station (cost IDR 150,000). For the blood test, a full vial of blood is taken (syringe in the arm). The syringes used are new and are taken out of the package in front of you. However, other hygienic conditions in the testing station are rather difficult. Alternatively, those who are sensitive can take a PCR swab test at the local hospital (cost IDR 900,000).

The blood test is only valid for the outbound flight to Wamena. For the return flight to Jayapura, a higher level test (PCR or antigen) is required.
The PCR swab test is valid for 7 days for travel within Papua. So if you want to stay shorter than 7 days in Baliem Valley, you can reuse the test result for the return flight from Wamena to Jayapura.
However, for the onward flight from Jayapura to e.g. Bali or Jakarta a test result is necessary, which is not older than 48 hours (Bali) or 72 hours (Jakarta).
That means, to leave Papua again, you have to do a new test anyway.

The result for the blood test is available after about 4 hours. A continuation of the journey to Wamena on the same day is possible under certain circumstances.
The result for the PCR test is available after about 6 hours. Further travel to Wamena on the same day is not possible.

 

SUMMARY – TRAVELLING TO THE BALIEM VALLEY:
To fly from Jayapura to Wamena, an extra Corona test is required and must be taken in Jayapura. Previous tests will not be accepted. There are two options for the test.

Blood test:
– Cost IDR 150,000
– Full blood collection by cannula. The syringes are new, but the other hygienic conditions are not for sensitive minds.
– Waiting time of about 4 hours. A direct onward flight to Wamena on the same day may be possible.
– The test result is only valid for the outbound flight to Wamena.

PCR swab test:
– Cost IDR 900,000.
– The test is performed in the local hospital, the hygienic conditions are flawless
– Waiting time of about 6 hours. A direct onward flight to Wamena on the same day is not possible.
– The test result is valid for travel within Papua for 7 days.

We recommend the PCR test, because we assume that for most visitors the conditions in the test station for the blood test are not acceptable.

This special regulation of the “extra test” is only valid for travel to Wamena and has been in effect for many months. As a result, the local population of the Baliem Valley was well protected early on and the virus has not really reached up there yet.

For return travel, a PCR swab test or antigen test can be done in Wamena. If you time the test correctly, the result can be used for both the return flight to Jayapura and the onward flight to, for example, Bali or Jakarta. We will help you to find the best way for your travel planning and to reduce the number of tests to a minimum.

Checking of documents at Jayapura airport
The covid-19 test for flights to Wamena

REMOTE AREAS (KOROWAI, ASMAT)
For a long time, an extra travel permit has been needed to travel to areas of Papua that are difficult to access. After a longer Corona break, these permits are now issued again, but only by POLDA in Jayapura. Because of this, the procedure currently takes a bit longer and it is better to take care of it in advance (if you travel with us, we will take care of this permit). For the application you need a copy of your passport, two passport photos and a valid visa. A Corona test is not required for the travel permit, but of course the travel permit does not exempt one from the Corona travel rules or from the Corona rules at the destination.

 

Travel to West Papua during Corona
SORONG AND RAJA AMPAT
There are still daily flights to Sorong. Most flights are from Jakarta or Makassar, but there is also a daily direct flight from Jayapura. For entry into West Papua via Sorong, each passenger currently requires a negative PCR swab test no older than 3 days or an antigen test no older than 2 days. Furthermore, one must have the Indonesian Corona app “eHac” installed and completed. This app is required for any travel within Indonesia and can be downloaded from any app store. Both before departure and after landing in Sorong, the test result and the correctly completed Corona app will be checked. If everything is in order, you get a stamp and can move freely from then on.

Currently there is at least one daily ferry from Sorong to Raja Ampat. A negative Corona test is also required for the ferry, which must be a maximum of 14 days old (any test method works). There are not express ferries every day. On some days there is only a slow ferry. Currently, the schedules are published at most one week in advance, which makes accurate planning impossible. It is better to plan an extra night in Sorong at the hotel when arriving and departing.

 

Explanation
This is the current status for travel to Papua and West Papua for travelers who are in Indonesia.
Of course, the explanations given here do not apply to international entry into Indonesia. There is enough information about this on the internet, e.g. here: LINK

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