Thousands of travelers who sheltered in Bali during the coronavirus lockdown are being forced to leave in four weeks as their emergency pandemic visas expire.
Included in the travelers are an estimated 10,000 Australians who remained in Indonesia during the lockdown, made up of 7,000 expatriates and 3,000 tourists.
Indonesia issued emergency visas for those stranded by lockdowns caused by Covid-19 in March when Jakarta declared a nationwide State of Emergency.
The automatic Emergency Stay Permits were free and enabled tourists to spend an extra three months in Indonesia during the lockdown.
The emergency stay visas have now officially expired meaning all travelers must leave Bali by August 9th.
Thousands of travelers are now being forced to leave the island just as Bali gets ready to reopen its doors on September 11th.
This could also pose a huge financial burden to the thousands of Australians still in Bali who have to head home.
Their government just imposed a new policy that all returning travelers would have to pay for their own quarantine at an estimated cost of $3000.
Many travelers will be now required to return to their home country or book an onward flight from Bali.
Most travelers arrived on the free Visa on Arrival (VOA) and does not allow for any extension.
Bali’s regional Immigration division spokesman Eko Budianto confirmed.
“The Automatic Emergency Stay Visa is valid for 30 days from 10 July 2020. The free VOA cannot be extended and travelers will have to leave Indonesia,” Budianto told the Courier Mail.
Mr Budianto said Indonesia’s normal rules are now in force again, including a $100 per day overstay fee that must be paid on departure – in cash.
An exceptional extension to the free VOA may be offered but only if a tourist can prove there are no flights available to return home.
For the few travelers who purchased a 30 day visa or are on a 60 social or business visa, they will still be able to renew their visas through immigration without leaving the country.
Most borders of countries in Southeast Asia are still closed and with Bali not reopening until September, travelers will have no choice but return to their country of origin.