Travel Advisory: Mount Semeru's Eruption
17 January 2023
On 8 December 2022, Indonesia’s Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Agency (PVMBG) has lowered the alert-level for Mount Semeru from Level 4 (Awas or Warning) to Level 3 (Siaga or Standby). PVMBG has warned residents not to carry out any activities within 5km of the crater, as well as from the southeast area of Mount Semeru along the Besuk Kobokan river, up to 13 kilometres from the crater, and 500 metres from any Besuk Kobokan riverbank.
Given the volcanic activity of Mount Semeru, Singaporeans should defer non-essential travel to the affected areas at this juncture. Singaporeans in Lumajang and Malang should monitor these developments closely and avoid Mount Semeru and its vicinity. They should take the necessary precautions for their personal safety and e-Register with MFA immediately at https://eregister.mfa.gov.sg if they have not done so. Those who are in need of consular assistance may contact the Singapore Embassy in Jakarta or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office at:
Embassy of the Republic of Singapore in Jakarta
Tel: +62 (21) 2995 0400 during office hours, or the 24-hour hotline +62 811 863 348 for emergencies outside of office hours
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office (24-hours)
Tel: +65 6379 8800, 6379 8855
Ministry of Health (MOH) Public Health Advisory
Travellers should refer to the ICA website for the latest information on travelling to/from or transiting through Singapore. Residents of Singapore intending to depart Singapore are strongly advised to check the latest MOH Travel Advisory for outbound travel. For the latest updates on Singapore’s COVID-19 situation, please refer to the MOH website at https://www.moh.gov.sg/covid-
Singaporeans travelling on their ordinary Singapore Passport can visit Indonesia for up to 30 days without a visa. Please go to https://www.imigrasi.go.id under “Visa Exemption (NEW)’ for details of the types of visit that fall under this category. Visa-free visits cannot be extended beyond the 30 days allotted. If you intend to travel to Indonesia for more than 30 days, you should apply for the appropriate visa before your travel. As visa requirements often change at short notice, we advise you to contact your travel agency, or the Embassy of Indonesia in Singapore for up-to-date information.
If you are visiting Indonesia for business purposes, you should apply for a business visa.
Holders of the APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) are exempted from Indonesia’s Visit Visa requirements so long as they are not engaged in employment in Indonesia. They can remain in Indonesia for up to 60 days (which cannot be extended). Currently, there are 17 airports (4 with dedicated ABTC Gates and the other 13 without) as well as seaports including Batam (at https://www.imigrasi.go.id under ”Information”) in Indonesia, which holders of the ABTC who are travelling to Indonesia for business purposes can use.
If you are unsure of the type of visa you will need in Indonesia, please check the website of the Indonesian Directorate General of Immigration at https://www.imigrasi.go.id, with your local partner or representative in Indonesia, or the nearest Indonesian Embassy.
If you are staying in a private residence (not in a hotel or service apartment), you must register with the local Rukun Tetangga (neighbour watch) office and the local police upon arrival. If you plan to travel to Indonesia for more than 90 days, you must register with the local immigration office and hold the appropriate visa for the entire length of your stay.
Overstaying without the appropriate authorisation or visa is treated seriously by the Indonesian authorities. In a situation where you have overstayed without the appropriate authorisation or visa, please report to the local immigration authorities. The penalty for overstaying depends on your specific circumstances, and can include a fine, detention and/or a ban from entering Indonesia for a specified period of time. According to Indonesia's Directorate-General for Immigration, from May 2019, overstayers risk facing fines of up to IDR1 million per day, up from IDR300,000 previously.
In the event of overstaying, you must report to the local immigration authorities, before the Singapore Embassy in Jakarta, or the Singapore Consulates-General in Batam or Medan, can assist you with a temporary travel document to facilitate your return to Singapore.
Requirements to enter Indonesia:
Members of the public should contact the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore for further clarification on these measures.
For further information on the COVID-19 situation, including any travel restrictions/advisories imposed by Indonesia, please visit these websites: Indonesia's COVID-19 information page www.covid19.go.id, Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs https://kemlu.go.id/portal/en, and the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore https://kemlu.go.id/singapore/en.
Singaporeans should also closely monitor the news and official announcements by both the Singaporean and Indonesian governments regarding the COVID-19 situation in Indonesia.
Singaporeans who require consular assistance may contact the Singapore Embassy in Jakarta, or the Singapore Consulates-General in Batam or Medan, using the contact details provided below. Singaporeans in Indonesia are strongly encouraged to e-register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at https://eregister.mfa.gov.sg/ so that they can be contacted, should the need arise.
Like in Singapore, be aware that crimes can happen at any time, anywhere, in Indonesia. Be alert to possible petty crimes including but not limited to pick-pocketing and bag-snatching, credit card and ATM fraud, scams and confidence tricks, spiking of drinks, and sexual assaults. You should take the necessary precautions for your personal safety and belongings, including to remain alert to your surroundings and to avoid travelling to unfamiliar places.
When travelling in Indonesia, you should pay attention to the local road conditions, traffic rules and take reliable modes of transportation.
For sea travel, please check weather and tidal conditions, which can change rapidly. Ensure that your mode of transportation is licensed, reliable and seaworthy, and has appropriate safety measures in place such as adequate life-boats and/or life-jackets.
When engaging in potentially hazardous sports such as diving and mountain hiking, please be familiar with local conditions, register with the local authorities, and heed their advice. Ensure that any local operators whom you hire are licensed, have reliable safety records and comprehensive emergency measures in place.
Note that all foreign nationals including Singaporeans are subject to Indonesian laws and regulations while in Indonesia. Neither the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore Embassy in Jakarta, nor the Singapore Consulates-General in Medan and Batam can intervene in the enforcement of these laws and regulations, including any investigation, legal or judicial process conducted by the local authorities in the event that you are taken into custody, arrested, detained or imprisoned.
Under Indonesian law, it is required that you carry your travel documents and/or other official identification issued by the Indonesian government, such as stay permits (e.g. KITAS and KITAP), with you at all times.
Please note that penalties for drug offences are severe and include the death penalty. Gambling is illegal in Indonesia.
Singaporeans travelling to Indonesia are advised to respect local traditions, customs and religions at all times, and be mindful of your words and actions so as not to inadvertently give offence.
Terrorist Attacks: According to media reports, Indonesia, like other countries in the region and around the world, continues to face the threat of potential terror attacks. Please be alert for reports of developments related to such attacks.
Natural Disasters: Indonesia is a large and diverse archipelago that lies in a seismically active region. Several locations in Indonesia experience volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, of varying scale and impact, and occasionally with little warning. During the rainy season, flash floods and landslides can and do occur in urban centres/cities, as well as in more rural areas.
Large-scale mass gatherings: Large-scale mass events, including protests, demonstrations, and rallies, can and do take place in major cities. Singaporeans in Indonesia are advised to monitor the media closely for information about such events, and to avoid them as far as possible.
Pollution: Pollution levels in certain parts of Indonesia, including major cities, can vary due to a variety of factors including vehicle and industrial emissions, as well as land/forest fires. Since September 2019, severe smoke haze has affected parts of Sumatra and Kalimantan. The smoke haze is caused by forest and land fires which arise when open burning is carried out to clear land for agricultural and commercial uses. It can be made worse by dry seasons, changes in wind direction, and when precipitation is low. Please familiarise yourself with local conditions before any travel, and monitor the media carefully for developments. Take the necessary precautions for your personal health.
Medan: Mount Sinabung, a volcano, which is located near Brastagi (about 90 km from Medan) has been spewing ash and lava since 2015. The Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BKMG) has categorised the volcano as being at Alert IV, the highest alert for a volcano. The local authorities have declared a red zone of 7 km radius around the volcano. Singaporeans should abide by all local authorities’ instructions when visiting the vicinity of the volcano. Singaporeans are advised to monitor media reports closely, and keep abreast of developments that could potentially affect your travel plans. The BMKG website is at www.bmkg.go.id.
There are popular hiking trails near Brastagi and Mount Sibayak. Singaporeans who wish to hike up Mount Sibayak should hire a professional guide who knows the trails and terrain well. There have been cases of hikers who went missing when hiking without professional guides.
Riau Islands Province: As an archipelagic province, the Riau Islands Province (KEPRI) may experience inclement weather particularly during the monsoon seasons when sea travel may be affected. Singaporeans should take the necessary precautions by selecting reliable modes of sea transport and taking note of the weather advisories from the BMKG website at www.bmkg.go.id.
Overseas Travel – Be Informed & Be Safe [Updated on 14 October 2021]
Singaporeans planning overseas travel are reminded to take the necessary precautions, including being prepared to deal with accidents, natural disasters or terrorist attacks. Singaporeans are also reminded to be familiar with your destination’s local laws, customs, and COVID-19 regulations.
Demonstrations do occur in major cities across the world. Such demonstrations can sometimes escalate into violence. It is important for Singaporeans to keep abreast of local news, avoid any protests or demonstrations and heed the advice of the local authorities.
When participating in outdoor leisure activities overseas, Singaporeans should be mindful that certain sporting activities, especially in open seas, may carry risks. Besides ensuring that one has the physical competencies and appropriate condition to undertake the activity, every effort should be made to ascertain if the trip organiser or guide is reliable and competent, and that appropriate safety and contingency plans are in place. When in doubt, Singaporeans should consult the relevant professional bodies or sporting associations for specific advice.
For those planning to travel, here are some tips:
Advisory: Email Scams
There have been reports of individuals receiving scam emails/messages purportedly sent from friends in distress overseas. These emails/messages typically originate from an email address/social media known to the receiver bearing claims of the sender getting into trouble overseas and urgently requesting financial assistance. The sender would also claim to have approached a Singapore Embassy/Consulate and the local Police for help to no avail.
MFA takes the safety of all Singaporeans very seriously. Singaporeans in distress approaching our Overseas Missions for assistance will be rendered with all necessary consular assistance. If you receive such emails/messages from purported friends seeking funds transfers, we strongly advise you to call them first to verify the authenticity of the emails/messages before responding to their request. It is also not advisable to give out any personal information such as NRIC/passport nos., address, telephone number, etc. Any form of reply, even one of non-interest, could result in more unsolicited emails. Members of the public who suspect that they have fallen prey to such scams should report the matter to the Police immediately. Should Singaporeans abroad require consular assistance, they can contact the nearest Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 24-hr Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.