The acidic volcano Ijen, located on the neighboring island of Java, has reopened for tourists. Shortly after New Year's, local authorities temporarily prohibited entry for everyone except sulfur miners working in the crater.
"We are closing the attraction for visits from January 3rd indefinitely, as it is necessary to assess tourist activities at Ijen," the administration announced in a special circular. The closure lasted only three days, and from January 6th, ascents to one of Indonesia's most beautiful volcanoes were allowed again, but not for everyone. The East Java Natural Resources Conservation Center (BKSDA) published a list of five requirements that tourists must meet to reach the Ijen crater.
1. Participants must prepare personal protective equipment (non-slip footwear, warm clothing, mask, hand sanitizer).
2. Insurance is not included in the entrance ticket price; all visitors are recommended to have accident insurance.
3. In case of an accident during ascent or descent resulting in injuries or death, the Ijen volcano excursion center takes no responsibility. Visitors assume all risks.
4. Paid tickets cannot be canceled or refunded on the day of ascent.
5. Tourists planning to climb Ijen must be in good health (physical and mental), not suffer from asthma or cardiovascular diseases, and must confirm this with a health certificate from a doctor.
The administration of Ijen shifting all responsibility is somewhat expected. The last point is the most interesting. Apparently, a health certificate can be obtained directly at the starting point of the ascent in a special medical center, presumably for an additional fee. Details are currently unknown, but they are expected to be available soon. It is also unclear whether one can obtain the health certificate in advance and what specific requirements it must meet. If you've visited Ijen after the new rules were implemented, we await your comments and details.