Indonesia to drop outdoor mask mandate as COVID-19 infections drop

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Indonesia will no longer require people to mask up outdoors, its president said on Tuesday, as COVID-19 infections decline in the Southeast Asian country.

As "the pandemic is getting more and more controlled," President Joko Widodo said in a statement that masks are no longer required outdoors.

But masks must still be worn indoors and on public transportation, he said, also recommending that the elderly and those with underlying health conditions or coughs continue to use them as well.

The new mask rules are set to take effect on Wednesday.

Indonesia will also ease testing requirements for foreign and domestic travellers, the president added, without giving details.

The latest easing of pandemic restrictions in Indonesia follows countries like Singapore, South Korea and Malaysia which also dropped their outdoor mask mandates in recent weeks.

Indonesia's daily COVID cases have declined since the last peak in February, although the government has said it is monitoring the possibility of an uptick after the annual mass exodus during the Eid-al-Fitr holiday earlier this month.

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