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Bali Delays Reopening To International Tourists

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Bali delays reopening the country for vaccinated tourists because of growing cases of COVID-19. 

Indonesia’s Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno suggested Bali would reopen in July 2021 to vaccinated tourists. Unfortunately, because of growing COVID-19 cases on the popular island, the government has pushed this back for the foreseeable future. 

Uno stated, “We are targeting the end of July, beginning of August, but we just have to be mindful of where we are in this recent spike. We will be waiting for the situation to become more conductive.” 

Bali Eyes July Re-Opening As Vaccine Rollout Picks Up Pace

The Current Situation In Bali 

Bali has around 200 cases per day. The tourism minister wants to bring cases down to about 30 to 40 cases per day before reopening. The Red Cross has warned that Indonesia is “on the edge of catastrophe” because of a rapid rise in COVID-19. 

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) said Indonesia needs a rapid increase in testing, vaccinations, and medical care to deal with the rising cases. The new variant is overwhelming hospitals in Jakarta, and the limited oxygen supply is being tested.

The head of the IFRC stated, “We need lightning-fast action globally so that countries like Indonesia have access to vaccines to avert tens of thousands of deaths.” Unfortunately, vaccination levels remain low throughout the country. Indonesia has only fully vaccinated around 5 percent of its population. That equates to around 13.1 million people, which is barely over the population of Jakarta. 

The Balinese government has vaccinated 71% of its population so far. The Indonesian government prioritized Bali as a vaccination hub because of its economic significance. Over 6.3 million international tourists entered Bali in 2019, adding a significant amount of GDP to the Indonesian economy.

tourists surfing Bali beach

Tourist attractions and Bali’s most popular beaches remain open. Department stores, restaurants, and malls stay open but with limited capacity and opening hours. There is a curfew on places opening after 10 pm, and strict mask-wearing policies and social distancing laws are in place. 

Ubud swing

The Current Entry Requirements

Bali is heavily reliant on the tourism industry. Therefore, the island has briefly opened to some – albeit very few – visitors in the pandemic with restrictions. On the other hand, the majority of Southeast Asia has remained closed for non-nationals and non-essential travel.

Indonesia has ceased international tourism travel since the pandemic began. The government has banned tourists from visiting Bali, but the country allows the following people to enter Bali:

  • Indonesian nationals 
  • Passengers with a Permanent Stay Permit or a Temporary Stay Permit.
  • Some passengers that have a temporary residence visa
  • Passengers with a diplomatic service visa 
  • Passengers traveling under the TCA agreement 

Some digital nomads have found ways to get into the country. Still, for the most part, the authorities have shut the island, and Bali continues to suffer dire economic consequences. 

traveler mask tropical covid bali

The Economic Situation 

The dire economic consequences of Bali’s border closure are pushing Indonesia towards opening the island ASAP. There have been rumors and speculation since the summer of 2020 that the island would fully reopen. However, every time the island comes close to reopening, they push the date back because of rising cases.  

Ubud hikes

Domestic travel in Bali has remained open throughout the pandemic, but that hasn’t replaced the loss of income through foreign tourists. The pandemic has affected over 94% of the Balinese workforce, and the pandemic forced 28% of businesses to close. 

Ubud

The Delta variant is causing severe problems for Bali. The island needs to reopen this year, or thousands of businesses will go under. If Bali wants to get cases down to 30 to 40 per day before it opens, it could be many months longer before Bali reopens its borders. 

Read More:

Bali Plans July Tourism Reopening As Vaccine Rollout Speeds Up

Covid-19 Travel Insurance – Everything You Need To Know

Countries Open For Vaccinated Travelers: The Complete List

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories


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Joe

Sunday 4th of July 2021

we are in Bali and they are closing beaches and it's random as to when and where. Very disappointing while the neighboring island have no restrictions.

Randy

Thursday 8th of July 2021

@Joe, YOU are kidding right? There are restrictions put in place between Java and Bali as of 6th of July 2021 whether it is by Air or by land ferry crossing. You must show at least a Negative PCR test, a Covid 19 vaccination certificate (fully vaccinated or one dose of it). International arrivals have the same regulation as domestic travel that made tourists upset. Well get a jab or stay home.

Christian

Friday 2nd of July 2021

OMG, 71% vaccinated and they still have to go through a harsh lockdown? Don’t governments learn from their past mistakes? Do they still believe lockdowns work? Does anyone still believe that vaccination will bring us back to normal? The world has become delusional. The pandemy is over when our masters say so.

Chris

Wednesday 4th of August 2021

@Randy, Sweden had no lockdowns. Yet Sweden has fewer deaths per million population than France, Italy, and Spain that have all had repeated and harsh lockdowns. In fact, Sweden is number 24 in deaths per million population in Europe. And almost all of the other 23 European countries with a higher percentage of Covid deaths have had some form of lockdown. If lockdowns work so well Sweden should be an outlier with far more deaths per million population. They are not.

There is no real world data (not computer model simulations) that show lockdowns ever worked and numerous studies on actual populations that show they have been ineffectual. Meanwhile lockdowns have caused tremendous misery. In the West nearly 97% of those who died from Covid had one or more chronic diseases and 81% of the deaths were people over 65 years of age. Mortality rate varies hugely according to age and initial health condition. So locking down a large percentage of young healthy people makes no sense. The worldwide mortality rate for Covid is estimated somewhere around 0.3% when considering unreported cases.

Now there are vaccines and still countries want to keep their borders closed to vaccinated people. If the vaccines work then why keep the border closed?

Source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

Randy

Monday 19th of July 2021

@akos, true dat.

Besides the numbers of death and hospitalization in Indonesia, there are three factors that may have driven the spike recently. Those who do not believe in Science and therefore reluctant to get vaccinated. Those who believe in misinformation and therefore Covid 19 is not a serious disease. And those who may have been vaccinated popularly with Sinovac early March 2021 other than Astra Zeneca (not made in India) that was slightly available in May 2021.

The Indonesian health workers who have been vaccinated earlier on with Sinovac are now getting a booster shot of Moderna. Pfizer, and Astra Zeneca will be available to the public next month and the following month to speed up the vaccination roll out. A faster initiative rollout than Thailand.

Heard on CNBC Indonesia (English version) cases as of this week has gone down due to its partial lockdown implementation in the past weeks. It is still not the time for the Indonesians to let their guards down. However the partial lockdown will be extended for another six weeks on Java and Bali...well the whole archipelago that is.

akos

Wednesday 14th of July 2021

@Christian, yes vaccinations work and will bring us back to normal faster than anything else. It is currently being spread as well as contracted by people who are NOT vaccinated. Currently, 99.7% of people being hospitalized for COVID (mostly the Delta strain) are unvaccinated. There is nothing delusional about it.

Brook + Wilde Coupons

Friday 2nd of July 2021

Great content! Keep up the good work!

garrytravel

Friday 2nd of July 2021

I'm probably heading to Bali this autumn, with the investor visa at $250 (60 day, 4 extensions) it doesn't matter if Bali opens for regular visas ($60), just rent a place for 6 months in Ubud wich is super cheap. The problem is there is no inter-Asia travel, so you can't just pop from BKK to DPS after your visa runs out. Bali was way to touristy in 2019, I wonder if it will ever recover that trajectory. I think not, because travel is not like it used to be.