Bali is closed for tourism but may reopen in October. For now, allowed visitors need to submit a negative COVID-19 test result, take an additional one on arrival.
Sandiaga Uno, Indonesia’s Minister for Tourism and the Cultural Economy, released a statement hinting that Indonesia will model Bali’s reopening on Thailand’s famous Phuket Sandbox scheme.
They also need to quarantine for 14 days at a government-designated hotel or until they can produce a negative test.
Following a substantial drop in Covid-19 cases, Indonesia may permit international tourists to come back to Bali and other areas of the country in October, said Senior Minister Luhut Pandjaitan.
If the decrease in infections continues “we are very confident” that Bali could be reopened by October, said the minister.
According to data released by Luhut, the “reproduction rate is below 1” and the national hospital bed capacity has fallen below 15%, some of the best figures seen since the latest spike in cases.
Bali plans to test its first international travel bubble soon
After countless tries, Bali is ready to open its first travel corridor soon, said I Putu Astawa, the Head of the Bali’s Tourism Agency.
Citing the need to restart the tourism economy in the region, Astawa confirmed on Sunday that “the government finally plans to test the reopening of the international travel corridor for Bali in the near future.”
He also mentioned that all tourism workers have been vaccinated and all accommodation venues were certified in the Clean Health Safety and Environment (CHSE) protocol.
Who Can Currently Visit Bali?
At the moment, Bali is closed to foreign travellers. The only people allowed to enter are Indonesian nationals and those who fit into one of the following scenarios.
Visitors who hold an Indonesian residency permit (KITAP/KITAS)
– Passengers who hold a diplomatic or service visa
– Those entering for humanitarian purposes on a visitor visa
– Passengers who have a business visa, not including the B211 visa*
*Throughout the pandemic, there have been reports of foreigners entering the country under the Single-Entry B211 Business Visa (also known as the Social-Cultural Visa). However, from July 21st, these visas have been suspended until further notice.
Visitors must also complete the eHAc registration, be able to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no earlier than 72 hours before boarding their flight to Indonesia and be fully vaccinated with an approved WHO vaccine. Indonesia is not currently allowing people who have been in India in the past 14 days to enter the country.
There is currently a mandatory quarantine period in place for those arriving from abroad. This applies to foreigners and Indonesian nationals. The quarantine period spans for 7 nights/8 days and you must check into a quarantine hotel in your arrival city.
Which type of tourist is welcome in Bali? On 10th September 2021, Luhut Pandjaitan, a top Indonesian Minister was quoted as saying… “We will filter tourists that come to visit. We don’t want backpackers to come so that Bali remains clean, where the people who come are of quality”. Source. The Indonesian government quickly clarified that they had no intention of refusing backpackers entry to the island.
So What is the Situation Like in Bali Now?
Due to the lack of international tourists, plus a recent lockdown in Java and Bali preventing domestic tourists from travelling to the island, the situation in Bali is pretty dire.
While some beaches and tourist attractions are beginning to reopen in Bali, a number of hospitality businesses have closed their doors forever. As tourism is the lifeblood of the island, many families have fallen into extreme poverty as a result of travel bans and lack of business. Malnutrition is becoming a common problem, with many claiming that the impact of the travel bans is even more damaging than catching COVID-19.
A partial lockdown was announced by the Indonesian government on 1st July 2021 which meant the closure of schools, mosques, shopping malls and restaurants across most of the island of Bali and the largest island of Java, including the capital, Jakarta. The lockdown continues to persist with variations depending on the local area and the number of COVID-19 cases. The aim of the lockdown is to get cases down to under 10,000 a day.