Bali to reopen to some foreign tourists from mid-October
Indonesia will reopen its tourist island Bali for some international travllers, including those from China, New Zealand, and Japan, among others, from Oct. 14, Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan told reporters on Monday.
Visitors will be required to quarantine for eight days, Luhut said. Indonesia has been among the countries worst hit by COVID-19 in Asia, officially recording more than 4 million cases and 142,000 deaths, although public health experts believe the true toll is far higher.
However, daily cases have plummeted from more than 56,000 at the peak of the second wave in mid-July this year to 1,142 cases on Oct. 3, data from the COVID-19 task force showed.
Bali’s Ngurah Rai international airport will be open to foreign tourists from that date, with visitors required to quarantine for eight days at their own expense, Luhut told reporters.
The country’s reopening and easing of social restrictions is being conducted in stages, he said, because Indonesia “doesn’t want the unexpected to happen”.
Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin had previously flagged reopening the popular resort island, saying foreign tourists could return after more than 70 percent of people on Bali had received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. The government has also signaled its willingness to reopen the island to international tourists to help revive Bali’s battered economy.
Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, exited its first recession in over two decades in the second quarter, though a COVID-19 resurgence and ensuing social restrictions likely weighed on the recovery momentum. (thejakartapost.com 04/10/2021)
Indonesians to be able to travel to the UK without hotel quarantine: report
Fully vaccinated Indonesians would no longer have to shell out thousands of pounds for hotel quarantine upon arrival in the UK, with the latter expected to relax travel restrictions in a bid to boost tourism.
As reported by The Sunday Telegraph, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce on Thursday that the UK is slashing its “red list” of destinations from 54 to just nine. Indonesia, which has seen significant decline in COVID-19 cases since the July peak of its second wave, will not be part of the nine.
Currently, arrivals to the UK from red list countries are mandated to undergo a 10-day hotel quarantine, costing £2,285 (US$3,095) per adult.
Furthermore, the UK previously announced that starting Oct. 4, fully vaccinated travelers arriving from countries not on the red list will no longer be required to take a pre-departure PCR test. Instead, they will be able to opt for the cheaper lateral flow test upon arrival in the UK.
The Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry says it has been pushing for other countries to remove Indonesia from their travel red list in recent weeks, commending France as another country that has recently lifted its ban on Indonesian travelers.
Undoubtedly high on the government’s current agenda is getting its Muslim citizens to Umrah pilgrimage, as Saudi Arabia has yet to exempt Indonesians from its travel restrictions to holy Islamic sites.
As for arrivals into Indonesia, the government recently eased its international travel restrictions, allowing visa applications and existing permit holders to enter the country. Hotel quarantine of eight days is required for most international travelers. (Coconuts.co 04/10/2021)
BREAKING: Bali airport to start welcoming foreign travelers on Oct. 14
Eased travel restrictions across Indonesia and a seemingly improving COVID-19 situation has led to domestic travel picking up in the country, with its most popular tourist destination Bali seeing a 161 percent increase in the number of air travelers in the last month.
Herry A.Y Sikado, General Manager at airport management firm PT Angkasa Pura I, said in a statement today that over 230,000 passengers passed through Ngurah Rai International Airport in September. On average, Harry said the airport served about 7,831 passengers daily.
In early September, a notable drop in the prices of COVID-19 tests appeared to have brought more passengers to Bali. Now that the province is categorized as Level 3 under the tiered version of the Enforcement of Restrictions on Public Activities (PPKM) protocol, Indonesians are clearly not shying away from fulfilling their pandemic wanderlust.
“We are hoping that the lowering of the PPKM level in Bali will increase demand for air travel,” Harry said.
A clip taken from Jimbaran just last night illustrates how tourism is picking up in Bali, where tables by the beach famous for their seafood offerings appear packed with diners.
Bali Officials Refuse To Reduce Quarantine Time For International Visitors
Officials from the Bali Health Agency have refused the proposal to reduce quarantine time for international visitors into only 2 days when the border reopens.
As a response to the request from the Badung Tourism Agency in regards to reducing the quarantine time for international visitors as The Bali Sun previously reported The Head of the Bali Health Agency, Dr. Ketut Suarjaya confirmed that the provincial government has rejected the proposal and will continue to implement the 8 day quarantine policy for all international travelers once the international travel corridor reopens in the near future.
Dr. Suarjaya was concerned that the implementation might cause another transmission of Covid-19’s new variant from the foreign visitors. “I totally disagree with that idea as the incubation period of Covid-19 transmission is more than 2 days. So we have to prevent the virus transmission, especially the new variant from getting onto the island.” Dr. Suarjaya said on Thursday (30/9).
He encourages everyone to be more patient, the quarantine policy for international visitors will remain the same where each international visitor is required to undergo 8 days of quarantine once they arrive. Meanwhile the provincial government has appointed a total of 35 hotels across the island as quarantine facilities and numerous hospitals to accommodate the travelers once the travel bubble program is implemented in October 2021. (thebalisun.com 05/10/2021)
New Visitor Limit Policy At Kuta Beach In Bali
Bali officials have implemented a new visitor policy at Kuta Beach by only allowing a certain number of visitors each day.
An official from Kuta Village, I Wayan Wasista confirmed that authorities have set a limit for visitors on Kuta Beach by utilizing the PeduliLindungi tracing app at all the entrance points as of Sunday (26/9). “We have begun to install a QR code at all of the entrances of Kuta Beach, so from now on Kuta is allowing a maximum of 8,000 visitors per day in accordance with the government’s instruction.” Wasista said on Sunday afternoon (26/9).
Wasista explained, from a total of 28 entrances, Wasista decided to only open 8 entrances while the rest will be permanently closed to prevent the beach area from getting over capacity. “Each entrance can only accept 1,000 scanners, so it will automatically deactivate once they reach the maximum capacity, so people will be unable to access the beach area.” Wasista added.
He also said that officials will begin to close the other 20 entrance points with concrete to avoid creating a crowd inside the beach area. “We have planned to invite a construction company to block the closing entrance points with concrete as soon as possible.” Wasista concluded. Since the implementation, multiple domestic tourists who have visited Kuta Beach were grateful with this new policy as people have felt much safer when visiting the beach. (thebalisun.com 04/10/2021)
Multiple Bali Expats In Ubud Denied The Covid-19 Vaccine
Several expats have been denied the Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination in Ubud on Thursday (30/9).
The Head of the Ubud Police Department, AKP Made Tama confirmed that some foreign nationals who attempted to receive the Covid-19 vaccine during a vaccination program that was initiated by the Ubud Police Department at Puri Agung Peliatan Ubud were rejected for not having a permission letter from their Embassy which stated that they were allowed to receive the vaccine.
“Apart from local people in Ubud, we also distributed the Covid-19 vaccine to expats who have been staying in Ubud during the pandemic. But some of them were declined as they were unable to show the permission letter to receive the vaccine from their Embassy as a requirement in accordance with the Health Minister’s Instruction Number 23 2021.” AKP Tama said on Thursday.
However, AKP Tama appreciated the enthusiasm of Ubud residents in joining the vaccination program especially in the area that is designated as a green zone area of Covid-19 transmissions. Although many people were enthusiastic to receive the vaccine, Ubud Police Department only provided 300 doses during the program that required online registration to prevent creating a crowd during the event.
“Participants registered themselves through an official website to fill out the registration form before joining the vaccination program that was operated by medical staff from Kenak Medical and nearby clinics.” AKP Tama concluded.
Two Nationals Deported For Violating Several Laws While Staying In Bali
Two African nationals have been deported for violating several Indonesian laws during their stay in Bali.
The Head of the Bali Law and Human Rights Minister, Jamaruli Manihuruk confirmed that two African nationals who were identified as Ernest Okechukwu Okanya from Nigeria and Soulaymane Konate from Cote d’Ivoire were officially deported by the Immigration office on Tuesday (28/9) for violating numerous Indonesian policies during their stay in Bali.
Prior to their deportation, both expats were detained by the Immigration officers from their villa that is located in Sayan Village, Ubud on Tuesday (2/9) for overstaying in Bali. “Apart from overstaying, our officers also found out that both of them have been cheating other expats in Bali by impersonating military officers and asking them for money. Jamaruli said on Wednesday (29/9).
According to the data from the Immigration office, Ernest arrived in Bali on December 17th 2019 while Konate arrived on March 15th 2020 with a socio-cultural visiting visa that had already expired. “From the cellphones, laptop and several sim cards that we seized when they were detained, both of them were also proven guilty to have joined in on illegal gambling online during their stay.” Jamaruli added.
After 22 days of detention, both expats were finally deported through Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta with Ethiopian Airlines on Tuesday at around 4:55pm and were blacklisted from entering Indonesia as punishment.