Saturday, September 4, 2010
Bail and the rest of Indonesia – Australian Travel Warnings
Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. You can find more information about this threat in our General Advice to Australian Travellers.
We advise you to reconsider your need to travel to Indonesia, including Bali, due to the very high threat of terrorist attack. Ask yourself whether, given your own personal circumstances, you're comfortable travelling to Indonesia knowing there is a very high threat from terrorism and you may be caught up in a terrorist attack. Ask yourself whether travel could be deferred or an alternative destination chosen. If, having considered these issues, you do decide to travel to Indonesia, you should exercise extreme caution.
On 17 July 2009, terrorists detonated bombs at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and the JW Marriott Hotel in Jakarta. Australians were among those killed and injured. The JW Marriott Hotel was also attacked in August 2003.
We continue to receive credible information that terrorists could be planning attacks in Indonesia which could take place at any time.
Terrorists have previously attacked or planned to attack places where Westerners gather, including nightclubs, bars, restaurants, hotels and airports in Bali, Jakarta and elsewhere in Indonesia. Analysts judge that these types of venues could be targeted again.
In past years, we have received information about possible terrorist attacks in Indonesia during the Christmas and New Year period. Analysts consider that gatherings of Westerners over Christmas, New Year and other holiday periods could again be appealing targets for terrorists. You should be particularly vigilant during holiday periods.
Attacks against Westerners in Bali and Jakarta indicate that these areas are a priority target for terrorists. Suicide attacks against locations frequented by foreigners in Bali and Jakarta such as the 1 October 2005 and 12 October 2002 Bali bombings and bomb attack outside the Australian Embassy in Jakarta in September 2004 killed and injured many people. We cannot rule out the possibility of another attack targeting Westerners, including Australians.
If you are evacuated from a building for security reasons (such as a bomb threat), you should not gather outside with a large group. Terrorists have been known to conduct secondary attacks targeting bystanders and those who come to help. Instead, you should immediately move to a safe location and only return to the building when authorised to do so.
In planning your activities, consider the kind of places known to be terrorist targets and the level of security provided at venues. You should take particular care to avoid places known to be terrorist targets. Tourist areas and attractions throughout Indonesia and tourists travelling to or from these places, including those in tour groups or tour buses, could be targeted. Other possible targets include international hotels, clubs, sporting clubs and venues, restaurants, international fast food outlets, bars, nightclubs, Western-branded venues, cinemas, theatres, Jakarta's embassy district and diplomatic missions elsewhere, international schools, expatriate housing compounds and Western interests and businesses. Places frequented by foreigners, central business areas, office buildings, churches and other places of worship, airlines, airports, public transport and transport hubs, shopping centres, premises and symbols associated with the Indonesian Government, and outdoor recreation events are also potential targets.
Due to security concerns, security at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta and the Consulate-General in Bali is at a high level. The Australian Embassy has advised its staff and their families to be particularly careful in how they travel or walk to and from the Embassy.
For security reasons, staff at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta have been directed not to live in apartments which are co-located with, adjacent to or closely associated with international hotels that have been and may continue to be terrorist targets. Embassy staff and families who live in such apartments have been relocated.
Civil Unrest/Political Tension
Political rallies, protests and demonstrations occur regularly. Most are publicised in advance and are often held near the Presidential Palace, major government buildings and embassies. You should avoid protests, demonstrations and rallies as they can turn violent with little notice. You should also maintain a high level of vigilance and security awareness.
The outcomes of judicial processes, including trials of extremists and the implementation of sentences, could prompt a strong reaction from their supporters such as demonstrations and acts of violence. International events and political developments may also prompt demonstrations in Indonesia.
Aceh: The overall security situation in Aceh remains unsettled. There are isolated incidents of violence, often of a criminal nature. There was a small number of attacks on foreigners in Aceh in late 2009. A German citizen was seriously injured in one of these attacks.
In early 2010, police conducted a series of operations against an armed group in several districts of Aceh province. Further operations are possible. Police have stated publicly that a number of suspects remain at large and that they may seek to attack international targets in Aceh.
We advise you to exercise extreme caution when travelling to Aceh. Travellers in Aceh should, where possible, use main roads and avoid travelling at night. Before travelling to Aceh, you should contact Indonesian authorities to determine whether your activities require official approval.
Central Sulawesi Province: Central Sulawesi has been subject to outbreaks of communal violence, bomb attacks and shootings. There is a risk of further violence.
Maluku: Maluku province (particularly Ambon) has been subject to outbreaks of communal violence. The security situation may become unsettled.
Papua and West Papua: Political tensions associated with anti-government groups in Papua and West Papua and inter-ethnic tensions may lead to violence. If you are travelling to the Papua Provinces for reasons other than tourism, you will require a travel permit (Surat Keterangan Jalan). Permits can be obtained from the National Police Headquarters in Jakarta. Applications may take some time to process.
Since 11 July 2009, there has been a series of violent attacks near the Freeport Mine in Papua, including attacks on vehicles using the Grasberg to Timika road. There is a possibility of further attacks in the Papua Provinces, including on infrastructure and national institutions. One Australian has been killed in these attacks.
West Timor: The security situation remains unsettled in areas near the border with East Timor, where security incidents continue to occur and have the potential to inflame local tensions.
Petty crime is common, including on crowded public transport. Violence is sometimes used. Thieves on motorcycles may snatch handbags from pedestrians. Bag snatching in upmarket shopping malls has occurred. Thefts from cars stopped at traffic lights have been reported and tourists have been robbed while repairing car tyres punctured by criminals.
Credit card and ATM fraud occurs in Indonesia. You should monitor transactions statements and use ATMs in secure locations such as banks, shops or malls.
There have been reports of tourists being robbed after bringing back visitors to their hotel rooms. In some cases, the victims' drinks were spiked.
Foreigners have died after consuming brand name alcohol or local spirits adulterated with harmful substances.
Cases of robbery and temporary confinement in taxis have been reported in urban areas, particularly in Jakarta. Victims have been forced to withdraw funds from credit or debit cards at ATMs to obtain their release. Lone female travellers appear most vulnerable. You should only use official taxi companies that can be booked by phone or from stands at major hotels and from inside the airport. You should check taxis carefully as unscrupulous operators have vehicles that look similar to those run by reputable companies.
A dispute between rival taxi companies in Bali turned violent during a recent protest. While such incidents are rare and passengers have not been specifically targeted, you should exercise appropriate caution. If you are caught up in a confrontation between taxi drivers, you should seek to leave the taxi and the immediate area if it is safe to do so.
Traffic can be extremely congested and road users may not drive in a predictable or safe manner. Headlights may not be used until it is completely dark. Motorcycle riders and their passengers must wear a correctly fastened and approved helmet. Fines may be imposed for non-compliance. In the event of an accident, foreigners may be assumed to be at fault and expected to make financial restitution to all other parties. For further advice, see our bulletin on Overseas Road Safety.
Public transport, including buses, rail and ferries, is often crowded, poorly maintained and have limited safety equipment. In recent years, there has been a series of inter-island ferry accidents with significant loss of life. The wet season, between December and March, may increase the risks of sea travel.
Mountain treks, including some on Mt Rinjani in Lombok, are only suited to experienced climbers. We recommend you travel with a guide and seek information on the level of difficulty.
Piracy occurs in the coastal areas of Indonesia. See our advice to Australians travelling by sea for further information. The International Maritime Bureau issues weekly piracy reports on its website.
The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) through its foreign assessment program focuses on a country's ability, not the individual airline, to adhere to international standards and recommended practices for aircraft operations and maintenance established by ICAO. The FAA has determined that Indonesia's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is not in compliance with ICAO safety standards for the oversight of Indonesia's air carrier operations. For more information, visit the FAA website. The US embassy in Jakarta has advised Americans travelling to and from Indonesia to fly directly to their destination on international carriers whenever possible.
The European Union (EU) has published a list of airlines subject to operating bans or restrictions within the EU. While all Indonesian airlines were included on the list in July 2007, four carriers ( Garuda Indonesia, Airfast Indonesia, Mandala Airlines and Ekspress Transportasi Antarbenua (trading as PremiAir) were taken off the list in July 2009. To see the list, visit the EU website.
CASA assesses the safety of all aircraft flying within, to and from Australia. CASA has certified Garuda Indonesia and Air Asia to operate flights between Australia and Indonesia. CASA cannot assess the safety of any Indonesian carriers operating within Indonesia or to countries other than Australia.
For further information, please refer to our Aviation Safety and Security travel bulletin.
Natural Disasters, Severe Weather and Climate
Earthquakes: Indonesia is in an active earthquake region with a high level of earthquake activity, sometimes triggering tsunamis.
Strong earthquakes can occur anywhere in Indonesia, but are less common in Kalimantan and south-west Sulawesi. During 2009, Indonesia experienced six earthquakes measuring 6.5 or more on the Richter scale. Many of these caused deaths, injuries or significant damage. More than 200 earthquakes with a magnitude of at least five occurred across Indonesia last year.
Reconstruction is underway in and around the city of Padang in Sumatra after a 7.6 magnitude earthquake hit this area on 30 September 2009, causing widespread damage and destruction. You should contact your tour operator to check whether tourist and transport services at your planned destination have been affected.
Tsunamis: All oceanic regions of the world can experience tsunamis, but in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, there is a more frequent occurrence of large, destructive tsunamis because of the many large earthquakes along major tectonic plate boundaries and ocean trenches. See the Tsunami Awareness brochure.
Floods: Floods and mudslides occur regularly during the wet season from December to April. Flooding has caused deaths and the displacement of people. Key services, such as transport, telecommunications, emergency and medical care, and the supply of food and water can be disrupted. The high risk of contracting a water-borne disease may persist after the water recedes.
Volcanoes: There are active volcanoes throughout Indonesia. Alert levels can be raised and evacuations ordered at short notice. If you plan to travel to an area near an active volcano, you should check the Indonesian Directorate of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation's daily updates (in Indonesian) on the status and alert level and the Smithsonian Institution's weekly updates.
In the event of a natural disaster, you should follow the advice of local authorities. More information is available from the Humanitarian Early Warning Service.
Australians are advised to respect wildlife laws and to maintain a safe and legal distance when observing wildlife, including marine animals and birds. You should only use reputable and professional guides or tour operators and closely follow park regulations and wardens' advice.
Money and Valuables
Before you go, organise a variety of ways to access your money overseas, such as credit cards, travellers' cheques, cash, debit cards or cash cards. Australian currency and travellers' cheques are not accepted in many countries. Consult with your bank to find out which is the most appropriate currency to carry and whether your ATM card will work overseas.
Make two photocopies of valuables such as your passport, tickets, visas and travellers' cheques. Keep one copy with you in a separate place to the original and leave another copy with someone at home. You should carry a copy of your passport with you for identification purposes.
While travelling, don't carry too much cash and remember that expensive watches, jewellery and cameras may be tempting targets for thieves.
You should only use licensed money changers and count the cash given to you.
As a sensible precaution against luggage tampering, including theft, lock your luggage. Information on luggage safety is available from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in a safe place. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or stolen passport. If your passport is lost or stolen overseas, report it online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible.
You are required to pay an additional fee to have a lost or stolen passport replaced. In some cases, the Government may also restrict the length of validity or type of replacement passports.
For general information and tips on travelling with children see our Travelling Parents brochure.
If you are planning on placing your children in schools or childcare facilities overseas we encourage you to research the standards of security, care and staff training within those establishments. You should exercise the same precautions you would take before placing children into schools or childcare facilities in Australia.
Ideas on how to select childcare providers are available from the smartraveller Children's Issues page, Child Wise and the National Childcare Accreditation Council.
When you are in Indonesia be aware that local laws and penalties, including ones that appear harsh by Australian standards, do apply to you. If you are arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you but we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Information on what Australian consular officers can and cannot do to help Australians in trouble overseas is available from the Consular Services Charter.
Under Indonesian law, you must carry identification (an Australian passport, Kartu Ijin Tinggal Sementara (KITAS) or Residents Stay Permit) at all times.
Penalties for drug offences are severe and include the death penalty. Penalties for possession of even small amounts of recreational drugs include heavy fines and imprisonment. Police target illegal drug use and possession across Indonesia, in particular popular places and venues in Bali and Jakarta.
Serious crimes, such as murder and piracy, may attract the death penalty.
Gambling is illegal. Tourists have fallen victim to organised gambling gangs, particularly in Bali, resulting in the loss of large sums of money and threats of violence if travellers are unable to pay the debt.
Some aspects of Sharia (Islamic) Law have been introduced in Aceh. Travellers should seek to inform themselves of relevant provisions. Visit the Indonesian Embassy website for further information.
You should obey signs that prohibit photography. If in doubt, seek advice from local officials.
To drive in Indonesia, you will require an Indonesian or international driver's licence appropriate to the type of vehicle. An Australian licence is not sufficient.
Some Australian criminal laws, such as those relating to money laundering, bribery of foreign public officials, terrorism and child sex tourism, apply to Australians overseas. Australians who commit these offences while overseas may be prosecuted in Australia.
Australian authorities are committed to combating sexual exploitation of children by Australians overseas. Australians may be prosecuted at home under Australian child sex tourism laws. These laws provide severe penalties of up to 17 years imprisonment for Australians who engage in sexual activity with children under 16 while outside of Australia.
Under Indonesian law, foreigners cannot own real estate. If you are considering buying property in Indonesia, you should first seek advice from a legal authority.
There are conservative standards of dress and behaviour in many parts of Indonesia. You should find out what customs are observed in your destination and take care not to offend. If in doubt, seek local advice.
Information for Dual Nationals
Indonesia's citizenship legislation permits children born to an Indonesian parent and a foreign parent to maintain citizenship of both countries until their 18th birthday. For more information, contact your nearest Embassy or Consulate of Indonesia or visit Indonesia's the Department of Law and Human Rights website (in Indonesian).
Our Travel Information for Dual Nationals brochure provides further information for dual nationals.
Entry and Exit Requirements
Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) change regularly. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Indonesia for the most up-to-date information.
You should ensure you have the correct, current visa at all times, otherwise you may be fined, jailed, deported or banned from re-entering Indonesia for a period of time.
Visitors may be granted a 30-day visa on arrival for a fee of USD25 (this is not available to foreigners entering Indonesia through the land border between East Timor and Indonesian West Timor).
Visas are non-transferable, but may be extended once for an additional 30 days without leaving the country. The period of stay for visas is calculated from the day of arrival. Part days are counted as whole days. Fines are imposed for each additional day in Indonesia.
If you are staying in private accommodation, you are required to register with the local Rukun Tertangga (RT) Office and the local police when you arrive. If you plan to be in Indonesia for more than 90 days, you must register with the local immigration office and hold the correct visa.
Make sure your passport has at least six months' validity from your planned date of return to Australia. You should also carry copies of a recent passport photo with you in case you need a replacement passport while overseas.
All persons departing Indonesia are required to pay 150,000 IDR Departure Tax (in Indonesian currency) at the point of departure.
Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 has spread throughout the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides useful information for individuals and travellers on its website. For further information and advice to Australians, including on possible quarantine measures overseas, see our travel bulletin on Pandemic (H1N1) 2009.
We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before you depart. Confirm that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away and check what circumstances and activities are not included in your policy. Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for a traveller's medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs.
Your doctor or travel clinic is the best source of information about preventive measures, immunisations, including booster shots of childhood vaccinations you may require, and disease outbreaks overseas. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information for travellers and our 'Travelling Well' brochure also provides useful tips for travelling with medicines and staying healthy while overseas.
Medical facilities are generally below Western standards and in many regions hospitals provide only basic facilities. Hospitals often require confirmation of medical insurance cover or up-front payment prior to providing any services, including emergency care. In the event of a serious illness or accident, medical evacuation to Singapore or Australia is recommended and may cost between $A15,000 to $A90,000, depending on circumstances and location.
Decompression chambers are located at Bali's Sanglah General Hospital and hospitals in Jakarta and Manado.
Mosquito-borne and other insect borne illnesses are common throughout the year. Malaria (including chloroquine-resistant strains) is prevalent throughout rural areas, but is uncommon in Jakarta. Dengue fever occurs throughout Indonesia, including in Bali and the major cities, and is particularly common during the rainy season. Australian Health authorities have observed an increase during 2010 in the number of dengue virus infections in returned travellers from Bali, Indonesia. There is no vaccination or specific treatment available for dengue. Outbreaks of chikungunya have been reported, while Japanese encephalitis and filariasis are also present, particularly in rural agricultural areas. We encourage you to: consider having vaccinations before travelling; take prophylaxis against malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases where necessary; ensure your accommodation is mosquito proof; and take measures to avoid insect bites, including using an insect repellent at all times and wearing long, loose fitting, light coloured clothing.
The mosquito-borne disease Japanese encephalitis is found throughout many regions of North, South and South-East Asia and Papua New Guinea. A Japanese encephalitis vaccine is registered for use and is currently available in Australia. For further details please consult your travel health doctor.
Water-borne, food-borne, parasitic and other infectious diseases (including cholera, hepatitis, measles, typhoid and tuberculosis) are prevalent with more serious outbreaks occurring from time to time.
Other diseases (including HIV/AIDS, polio and rabies) are a risk for travellers.
The Indonesian Government has declared that rabies is present in Bali and Nias (off the coast of Sumatra). It may be present in other parts of the archipelago. A number of people with rabies like symptoms have died recently after being bitten by dogs. Visitors are strongly advised to avoid direct contact with dogs, cats, monkeys and other animals. If bitten or scratched, you should seek immediate medical attention. Availability of post-exposure rabies treatment in Indonesia may be limited, which may require bite victims to return to Australia or travel to a third country for treatment within seven days. If you are planning to stay in Indonesia for a prolonged period or to work with animals, you should consult your doctor or travel clinic about obtaining a pre-exposure rabies vaccination.
We advise you to boil all drinking water or drink bottled water, and avoid ice cubes and uncooked food. Seek medical advice if you have a fever or are suffering from diarrhoea.
Avoid temporary 'black henna' tattoos as they often contain a dye which can cause serious skin reactions. For further information see the Australasian College of Dermatologists' website.
Smoke haze: It is typical for there to be a smoke haze across much of the north-west part of the archipelago from July to October. Kalimantan and Sumatra are generally the worst affected areas. You should be aware the smoke haze could affect your health and travel plans. A current smoke haze map can be seen on the Singaporean National Environment Agency website.
Avian influenza. The World Health Organization has confirmed human deaths from avian influenza in Indonesia, including Bali. The Department of Health advises Australians who reside in Indonesia for an extended period to consider, as a precautionary measure, having access to influenza antiviral medicine for treatment. Long-term residents are at a greater risk of exposure to avian influenza over time. You should seek medical advice before taking antiviral medicines. Australians intending to travel to Indonesia for shorter periods are at much lower risk of infection but should discuss the risk of avian influenza with their doctor as part of their routine pre-travel health checks.
If the avian influenza virus mutates to a form where efficient human-to-human transmission occurs, it may spread quickly and local authorities could move quickly to impose restrictions on travel. Australian travellers and long-term residents in Indonesia should be prepared to take personal responsibility for their own safety and well-being, including deciding when to leave an affected area and ensuring they have appropriate contingency plans in place. Australians in Indonesia should monitor the travel advice and bulletin for updated information and advice and ensure that their travel documents, including passports and visas for any non-Australian family members, are up-to-date in case they need to depart at short notice.
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has confirmed cases of avian influenza in birds in a number of countries throughout the world. For a list of these countries, visit the OIE website.
Where to Get Help
Access to the Australian Embassy in Jakarta is by appointment only. An appointment for consular services can be made by calling +62 21 2550 5500 or +62 21 2550 5555.
Jalan H R Rasuna Said Kav C 15-16
Jakarta Selatan 12940 INDONESIA
Telephone: +62 21 2550 5555
Facsimile: +62 21 2550 5467
In Bali, you can obtain consular assistance from:
Australian Consulate General
Jalan Tantular 32
Denpasar Bali 80234 INDONESIA
Telephone: +62 361 241 118
Facsimile: + 62 361 221 195 (general enquiries)
Facsimile: +62 361 241 120 (visa enquiries)
In Medan, you can obtain limited consular assistance from:
Jalan R A Kartini 32
North Sumatra INDONESIA
Telephone: +62 61 415 7810
Facsimile: +62 61 415 6820
If you are travelling to Indonesia, whatever the reason and however long you'll be there, we strongly recommend you register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. You can register online or in person at any Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. The information you provide will help us to contact you in an emergency – whether it is a natural disaster, civil disturbance or a family issue.
In a consular emergency if you are unable to contact the Embassy, Consulate General or the Consulate, you can contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or 1300 555 135 within Australia.
In Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra may be contacted on (02) 6261 3305.
This Advice was issued on Wednesday, 04 August 2010, 15:41:44, EST.