My First 2022 Business Travel in COVID-19 Pandemic — Is it worth it?

In Summary
- Experiencing international travel during the COVID-19 pandemic while attending the AWE XR USA 2022 and Quantum.Tech 2022 International events (late May - June 2022). Many countries worldwide have been distributing COVID-19 vaccines massively for about 1.5 years.
- COVID-19 related prerequisites: proof of full vaccination, WHO-approved vaccines, Antigen or RT-PCR test, no mandatory quarantine when arriving to the USA, and no mandatory quarantine when returning to Indonesia.
- Starting at 12.01 AM on June 12, 2022 all the COVID-19 entry requirement for International traveller to the USA has been lifted. It means presenting a negative test result or documentation of recovery in the past 90 days from Covid-19 is no longer an entry requirement.
- Prerequisite to return to Indonesia: Proof of full vaccination (WHO vaccine certificate) at airline check-in counter.
- Includes a COVID-19 experience during a short visit to Singapore, a week before going to USA.
Practicing Social Distancing and Mask Wearing at AWE XR USA 2022.

International Events in COVID-19 Pandemic

The latest published summary on Indonesia COVID-19 Vaccination status was issued by the Ministry of Health of Indonesia on May 14, 2022. Indonesia has achieved 79.79% of fully vaccinated people (of 208 million total targeted people), while 95.83% has received their 1st of 2 shots (Kementrian Kesehatan, 2022). The distribution of the 3rd shot (booster) has just been started in January 2022 and has only achieved 20.40% of the target.

Omicron, the recent COVID-19 variant, that had just been discovered in late 2021 was raising a lot of concerns worldwide due to its fast-spreading nature — along with its various variants.

International Travel Experience during COVID-19 Pandemic — Going to AWE XR USA 2022 and Quantum.Tech 2022

Well, I have experienced more hours before (give or take about 50 hours) when traveling from New York back to Jakarta, through Dallas, San Francisco, and Singapore— as the transit time was tight between two flights in Dallas, forcing the airline to move all related passengers to a nearby hotel for a few hours while waiting for the next available flight to San Francisco.

Since late 2021, Singapore has been starting to open its border to a few countries through VTL arrangements. VTL, the Vaccinated Travel Lanes have been the special arrangement in which participating countries could enter Singapore without 10 days of mandatory quarantine, as applied before the VTL. Indonesia was among those countries, having a VTL arrangement with Singapore since the end of November 2021.

As of April 2022, there was no more requirement for mandatory quarantine to enter Singapore. As long as we are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, we are free to enter the country.

Latest update as of June 12, 2022

Starting at 12.01 AM on June 12, 2022 all the COVID-19 entry requirement to USA has been lifted. It means that International flights departing to the USA after that time will no longer have to present a negative test result or documentation of recovery in the past 90 days from Covid-19.

Riding an Uber in Santa Clara, and luckily had an experience with a Tesla Model 3.
In addition to seat-belt signs, Wifi in the aircraft during the light is getting common. The illustration shows a Wifi sign at Delta Airlines (limited to text messages only), domestic travel from Boston to San Francisco in mid-June 2022.
Mask requirement sign at one of the public areas in California, June 2022.
People were coming, fully packed towards an opening speech on the first day at AWE XR USA 2022. Most of the attendees were not wearing masks. Also, there was no social distancing both while standing and in seating position.
Most people wear no masks and did not follow 6 feet (1.5 meters) social distancing in Boston downtown — a day before Quantum.Tech 2022 event at the beginning of the 3rd week in June 2022.
A discussion at one of the booths: Zapata Computing.
An Asian-style Inflight meal on a Singapore Airlines flight.
Practicing Social Distancing and Mask Wearing while queuing for quick lunch at one of the available cafes @AWE XR USA 2022.
A self-service vending machine, an alternative for getting lunch at AWE 2022.
Lunch at Quantum.Tech 2022.

International Travel Experience during COVID-19 Pandemic — Returning to My Home Country

As Indonesia has lifted the requirement to provide an RT-PCR test for a fully vaccinated International traveler since May 18, 2022, there was no need to do an RT-PCR test prior to boarding the flight.

Latest update as of June 10, 2022

Effective on June 10, 2022, International traveler coming to Indonesia needs to fill in the e-custom declaration form (SHIA, 2022) — Instead of filling in the printed form, as previously administered.

Previously, International fully-vaccinated passengers with negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test results were used to be required to be in mandatory quarantine for a few days to two weeks at their expense.

The Government activated the regulation in November 2021 with quite frequent changes along the way (3-14 days, then back to 3 days in March 2022). As the number of COVID-19 cases and fatalities had been steadily decreasing, Government activated “no mandatory quarantine“ beginning in April 2022. The 10–14-days quarantine period was implemented during the initial finding of the Omnicron variant of COVID-19 in the first week of December 2021. Then reduced to 7 days and 3 days gradually as number of cases were decreasing.

A Short visit to Singapore — May 2022

References

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