The Papua Blog

Travel to Papua during Corona

Travel regulations for Papua and West Papua

Words and photos by Papua Explorer

We flew to Sorong and Raja Ampat at the end of December 2020. In early January 2021 we continued from Sorong to Wamena in the Baliem Valley, with transit in Jayapura. We stayed one week in Raja Ampat and 30 days in the Baliem Valley. The following is a brief explanation of the current Corona travel situation in Papua and West Papua, based on our travel experience.

This text is not regularly updated and the situation may change on a daily basis.
Please get updated information again before departure or ask us.
Last updated February 13, 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, every passenger currently needs a negative PCR-Swab test (this is the “stick-in-the-nose” test), which must not be older than 7 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 rule for traveling to Wamena and the Baliem Valley: anyone wishing to fly to Wamena must take an extra Corona test no earlier than one day before departure. For this purpose, the local government has set up a test station near the airport in Jayapura. Only tests from this test station will be accepted for the flight to Wamena. This special regulation applies only to Wamena and has been in force for many months. As a result, the local population was well protected early on and the virus has not really gotten up there yet.

Unfortunately, the test is somewhat unpleasant: a vial of blood is taken from the arm with a needle. The test result is usually available a few hours later and is then valid for two weeks. Thus, one can use this test result again to fly back from Wamena to Jayapura later. For the onward flight from Jayapura to e.g. Jakarta this test result is then possibly already too old or qualitatively not sufficient!

For better understanding, here is a short travel example from Jakarta via Jayapura to Wamena and back, according to today’s situation:

Day 1:
Flight from Jakarta to Jayapura, with a negative PCR Swab test that is no more than 7 days old.

Day 2:
Arrive in Jayapura and do the special Corona test for flying to Wamena.

Day 3:
Flight from Jayapura to Wamena, with the special test still valid for 14 days for the return flight.

Day 4 to Day 9:
Stay in Baliem Valley

Day 10:
Return flight from Wamena to Jayapura with the now still valid special test from day 3.
Directly afterwards or on

Day 11:
Carrying out a new Corona test that meets Jakarta’s entry requirements. Currently, Jakarta requires at least a negative antigen test that is no more than 72 hours old or alternatively a negative PCR Swab test that is no more than 7 days old.
Departure to Jakarta with the new test result and completed Corona app. 

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 needs a negative antigen test (test by nasal swab or blood drop), which must not be older than 7 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