The Government of Bali has unexpectedly announced that the popular destination will be revoking quarantine rules and reinstating its visa on arrival program for travelers from 23 countries. Included in this list of countries are the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia among others. This is HUGE news as Bali may again be able to rise through the ranks of popular tourist destinations around the world.
The announcement is a major surprise as we weren’t expecting any changes to be made before April. No doubt the omicron’s freefall speed decline in cases, mixed with pressure from the tourism industry and envy of the other countries that have reopened, have played a massive roll in this decision. It will be interesting to see if there is still a large interest from the travel community to visit Bali after 2 years of very strict COVID restrictions.
The Process of Reopening
Bali has been essentially closed down for the past two years only allowing foreigners in on the rarest of occasions. Last month, they welcomed their first flight since the shutdown, but since the demand for trips to Bali has been slow to grow. Until this announcement travelers needed to take a pre-departure COVID test AND quarantine upon arrival just to take ANOTHER COVID test 3 days later. On top of that the “VISA on arrival” program had not yet been reinstated, meaning that travelers needed to apply in advance to enter the country. This process is both expensive and time-consuming.
With this announcement, travelers from the United States, UK, Australia, and Canada will be issued a visa on arrival again and be able to skip the costly quarantine. The decision and repeal of restrictions is strictly for the island of Bali. The government is taking steps to ensure that travelers do not spread the virus off of the Island by requiring results of a PCR test from any foreigner trying to leave Bali.
There Are Still SOME Entry Requirements For Bali
- Show proof of vaccination or booster
- Conduct PCR test upon arrival and wait for results before accessing public areas
- Visitors who test positive are required to undergo isolation at the appointed quarantine hotel
- Covid-19 patients with comorbid diseases and senior citizens must undergo isolation at the appointed hospital
- Insurance that covers COVID up to $100,000
- Travelers are required to conduct another PCR test on the third day before gaining access into the provinces outside of Bali
Can Bali Still Be A Top Tourist Destination?
Bali was a wildly popular destination for digital nomads, backpackers, and tourists before the pandemic. Social media influencers lined the shores snapping endless photographs. Entrepreneurs of the digital age filled the cafes mingling with like-minded people. Before the Pandemic, 60% of the island’s economy was based on tourism. Will Bali make a comeback to these pre-pandemic levels?
Travelers are hesitant to return to places that had strict and quickly changing restrictions. We’ve seen evidence of this feeling in Australia, which recently reopened its borders to vaccinated travelers. It’s understandable that travelers may not want to book or plan a trip to a place with no guarantee that they will be able to carry it out.
Zero COVID Policy
Indonesia as a whole plan’s to keep the “Zero COVID Policy” in place for the rest of the country. A policy that many countries in Asia are still clinging to. However in this point in the pandemic, it seems that the policy may be futile. Many of the strictest countries, like Australia and Austria, are beginning to open their borders…And maybe Asia will follow soon.
Just To Reiterate
Bali has unexpectedly announced that the popular destination will be revoking quarantine rules and reinstating its visa on arrival program for travelers from 23 countries. Included in this list of countries include the United States, Canada, Australia, England, Netherlands, Germany, Qatar, France, Japan, South Korea, Italy, New Zealand, UAE, Turkey, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, and Cambodia. Hopefully, we will see tourists flocking to the beaches of Bali again soon!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com