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Man with COVID disguises himself as his wife to board flight, is arrested upon landing

Airline passenger who tried to evade coronavirus protocols
An airline passenger who authorities say disguised himself as his wife in order to evade coronavirus protocols arrives in Ternate, Indonesia.
(Harmoko / Associated Press)

An Indonesian man with the coronavirus who wanted to evade health protocols for air travel boarded a domestic flight disguised as his wife, wearing a niqab over his face and carrying fake IDs and a negative PCR test result, authorities said.

But the cover didn’t last long.

Police said a flight attendant on a Citilink plane traveling Sunday from the Indonesian capital of Jakarta to Ternate, in North Maluku province, noticed that the man had changed clothes in the lavatory.

“He bought the plane ticket with his wife’s name and brought the identity card, the PCR test result and the vaccination card with his wife’s name. All documents are under his wife’s name,” Ternate police chief Aditya Laksimada said after arresting the man upon landing. He was only identified by his initials.

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The COVID-19 study’s results may be too late for U.S. travelers. Delta will start selling middle seats again May 1, and the nation’s other airlines already do.

Police took him for a coronavirus test, which came back positive.

The man is currently self-isolating at home, and police said the investigation will continue.

Indonesia is in the grip of Asia’s worst coronavirus surge, with 33,772 new confirmed cases and 1,383 deaths in the last 24 hours. The total number of reported coronavirus cases is 2.9 million, with 77,583 COVID-19 fatalities.

Restrictions on public gatherings and nonessential travel, including a mandatory negative coronavirus test, have been toughened over the Eid al-Adha holiday this week.


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