Bali, the wildly popular island in Indonesia, has confirmed that, as of yesterday, it has reopened to foreign tourists from 19 countries around the world. An island synonymous with rich, cultural experiences and jaw-dropping vistas, Bali has long since been a haven for backpackers and a must-visit destination for travelers making their way through Southeast Asia, and so the news is bound to be warmly welcomed by both travelers from the 19 countries and the tourism-dependent locals alike.
Having had its borders closed for the past 18 months of the pandemic, there is bound to be some teething problems as the island opens up once more – but it marks an important milestone for the country. Here’s a look at which travelers can now visit, what they need in order to be able to visit and what they can expect to find on the island at present.
Bali Reopens – What Travelers Should Know
After several long months without backpackers or travelers, the tourist floodgates have finally been opened on the island of Bali. Speaking on Wednesday, the country’s Minister of Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, revealed that from Thursday, the islands of Bali and Riau – a province on the central eastern coast of Sumatra – would be reopening to travelers from 19 select countries, who will no doubt be itching to return.
The 19 countries that have been deemed able to return to Bali are listed as follows:
China, India, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Liechtenstein, Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Poland, Hungary, and Norway.
Whilst some may be critical that there is not a huge number of countries on the list, the authorities in Indonesia have described the approach as taking “baby steps”, prioritising a manageable, safer reopening.
According to Luhut, the countries that were chosen were selected due to their low positivity rates. For now, neither the United States or the United Kingdom have found themselves on the approved list, but the situation could change should the reopening go off without a hitch, and should they report lower numbers of Covid-19 cases in the future. Australia and Singapore – countries from which travel to Bali is extremely popular – also failed to make the cut this time around.
Travelers have to follow a number of steps in order to be able to gain access to Bali. Firstly, travelers must ensure that they obtain the correct visa prior to travel. Travelers also have to be fully vaccinated, with their second dose of the vaccine taken at least 14 days prior to traveling to Indonesia. Travelers must also have insurance coverage for Covid-19 treatment worth at least US $100,000, and must also pay for their own accommodation during a five-day quarantine period.
However, one issue that travelers will face is the lack of flights to Bali at present. Ngurah Rai, the airport in Bali, doesn’t yet have any international flights scheduled, leaving passengers facing a travel headache should they wish to visit the island. It is expected that more flights will be added in the coming weeks as interest in visiting the island picks up.
The situation in Bali at present is understandably bleak, with so few tourists to contribute to the local economy. Whilst the natural beauty still ensures, many local businesses, restaurants and hotels are shuttered, causing the island to lose some of its charm. However, should tourists descend upon the island in the numbers that the country is expecting, it won’t be long before Bali is restored to its former glory.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com