Indonesia is considering relaxing quarantine restrictions for travelers arriving in Bali by April. The government is pivoting towards “living with the virus”. The country officially reopened for tourists on February 4th, but it is not easy to travel there as of now.
A representative from the government stated on Monday “We need to find that balance between the need to maintain health and the need to maintain the economy.” It is expected that by April, the government will drop all quarantine restrictions and possibly the second PCR test upon arrival. A much-needed change of pace for the battered Bali economy.
Currently, all visitors should have a negative Covid-19 test prior to departure. They will also need to take another PCR test on the 3rd day of quarantine, with a negative result required for release. Travelers must also hold proof of health insurance with a coverage value of at least US$ 100,000 for the treatment of COVID-19. In addition to that, travelers need to get a visa before coming to the country but we’ll discuss that more later.
Bali is a wildly popular destination for digital nomads, backpackers, and tourists. Social media influencers and retirees alike would line the shores of this beautiful destination. Before the Pandemic, 60% of the island’s economy was based on tourism.
The country has been slower than some of its neighbors to announce reopening, previously adhering to the controversial “Zero COVID” policy. Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, The Philippines, Thailand, and Sri Lanka have all partially opened their borders.
So finally, travelers will be able to return to Bali, right? Well, Maybe.
Several issues still stand in the way of Bali becoming the flourishing tourist destination that it once was.
- The visa on arrival program is not being put back in place as of now. This means that travelers need to apply for a visa before traveling to Indonesia, which can be expensive and time-consuming and certainly does not appeal to those living the jet-setter life.
- Many airlines have not yet reinstated their routes to Bali because of the lack of demand and strict restrictions. The first international flight carrying tourists to Bali arrived yesterday from Singapore. More flights are expected in March, but airlines are being cautious.
- Travelers are hesitant to return to places that had strict and quickly changing restrictions. We see this evident in the tourism numbers of other Southeast Asian countries and Australia. 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. Bali partially reopened its borders in October 2021, and only 45 International travelers have entered since then.
At the current time, the Indonesian government has prohibited foreign visitors from transiting and traveling to Indonesian territory unless they are in possession of a valid residence permit or certain classes of visas. Visa-free and visa-on-arrival entry for all foreign travelers, including U.S. citizens, remains suspended. The government has not indicated a timeline for when the restrictions on international visitors will expire.
If you do have one of these visas, you will be required to show a negative Covid-19 test prior to departure. They will also need to take another PCR test on the 3rd day of quarantine. You’ll also need proof of health insurance with a coverage value of at least US$ 100,000 for the treatment of COVID-19.
As the rest of Southeast Asia moves out of these outdated pandemic era restrictions, we can only hope the Indonesian government moves quickly to remove their restrictions. As they will not want to miss another tourist season.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com