After 18 months of closure, Indonesia is finally considering reopening to international tourists from certain countries in October in a bid to revive its battered travel and tourism industry.
Most likely, Indonesia will reopen Bali — the nation’s primary international tourism destination — in October. Reports suggest Indonesia may reopen other parts of the country in October.
Indonesia, much like the rest of the world, witnessed a devastating Delta variant wave of COVID-19 that pushed the reopening date back. However, cases have begun sliding in recent weeks as Indonesia ramps up its vaccination rollout.
Luhut, the Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs said “We are happy today that the reproduction rate is below 1… it is the lowest during the pandemic and it’s indicating that the pandemic is under control.”
He also said, “Other positive signs include the national hospital bed occupancy rate falling below 15 percent, while the positivity rate, or the proportion of people who are positive, was at less than 5 percent.”
He said Indonesia could reopen to the following nations — and other nations — next month:
- New Zealand
- South Korea
However, there was no direct mention of the United States or the United Kingdom. Travelers from both nations visit Indonesia in large numbers every year, and both nations have very high rates of vaccination.
It does seem unlikely that Bali would reopen its borders without allowing fully vaccinated American and British visitors — but we’re living in crazy times. The Indonesian Health Minister suggested this week that Indonesia’s reopening could hinge on whether 70 percent of the target population have received their first vaccination.
The Current COVID-19 Situation In Indonesia
Indonesia is the worst-hit nation in Southeast Asia. The country has had 140,000 deaths and a total of 4.19 million cases. That said, the current seven-day case average in Indonesia is 3,773 cases per day. That’s down from a 7-day average of 48,000 cases per day in July.
So far, Indonesia has fully vaccinated 22.5 percent of its entire population. Indonesia has administered a total of 121,542,203 vaccination doses since January. At the current vaccination rate, Indonesia will take another 41 days to vaccinate another ten percent of its population.
Furthermore, it’s like Indonesia won’t reach the high vaccination levels of Europe and the United States until 2022.
Southeast Asia’s Reopening
Southeast Asia has been the most restricted travel destination — other than Australia and New Zealand — since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
The entire continent has been closed for 18 months, leading to economic devastation in parts of Thailand and Indonesia that rely on tourism. That said, Thailand is pushing towards reopening.
Thailand started its sandbox scheme in July. Therefore, fully vaccinated tourists from certain nations could travel to various Thai islands, but the entry requirements were complicated and stressful. Travelers couldn’t travel outside the islands until they’d spent 14 days there.
Moreover, Vietnam declared it would reopen Phu Quoc in the coming months for fully vaccinated international tourists. That news came after Vietnam has completely closed its borders to all foreign nationals since February 2020.
Malaysia announced it would reopen its Langkawi, its popular travel destination to domestic travelers this week. However, there was no news on when Malaysia would reopen to fully vaccinated foreign visitors.
Singapore also declared its ambition to reopen to the world this year, but cases of COVID-19 have reached record levels this week.
Travel to Southeast Asia isn’t going to be anything like normal until the nations fully vaccinate their adult populations in 2022. Until then, traveling to Southeast Asia is likely going to remain challenging (to say the least.)
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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