JAKARTA, Dec. 28 (CNA) - International visitors will be barred from entering Indonesia for a two-week period in a bid to stem the spread of a new potentially more contagious strain of the coronavirus, its foreign minister Retno Marsudi said on Monday (Dec 28).

The new regulation, effective Jan 1, comes days after Indonesia banned travellers from Britain and tightened rules for those arriving from Europe and Australia to limit the spread of the new strain.

Earlier this year Indonesia banned all tourists but some exemptions have been made for business travellers.

The new regulation applies to all foreign visitors with the exception of high-level government officials, she said.

Indonesia reported 5,854 new COVID-19 cases as of noon on Monday, bringing its total infections to 719,219.

There were also 215 more people who died due to the disease, taking the death toll to 21,452.

A total of 589,978 patients have recovered from the disease, after 6,302 more people were added to the tally on Monday.