Local News

Bali offers ‘bubble’ quarantine packages for int’l travellers as gov’t mulls erasing requirement in April

Let’s be honest: Even in Bali’s luxurious resorts, nobody really wants to be stuck inside their hotels for longer than they have to be.
Despite having been officially reopened to international tourists in October 2021, Bali Island, the bread and butter of Indonesia’s tourism industry, did not see any commercial international flights landing until February 2022, with Garuda Indonesia bringing in tourists from Japan and Singapore Airlines from Singapore.
Bali’s tourism sector has especially struggled since the island shut to international flights in March 2020. While restrictions have loosened, existing quarantine regulations have turned off foreign travelers from making the trip to the Island of the Gods, which is known for its surfing spots, temples, and nightclubs.Under current regulations, fully vaccinated travelers to Bali are required to quarantine in designated hotels for five days. That may be shortened to three days for travelers who have received booster shots starting on March 1.
If you plan to travel to Bali and are worried that quarantine will bore you, fear not, as the provincial government recently launched an isolation scheme that would allow travelers out of their hotel rooms.
“International travellers can quarantine with either a ‘bubble’ or a ‘non-bubble’ system,” said Bali Vice Governor Tjok Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati, popularly known as Cok Ace, yesterday.
Travelers who opt to enter the “bubble” system will be allowed to roam around the hotel to swim, exercising at the gym (yay!), and participating in hotel activities such as carving fruits.
Five hotels have been selected to host the “bubble” system, namely Grand Hyatt Nusa Dua (Nusa Dua), Westin Resort (Nusa Dua), Griya Santrian (Sanur), Viceroy (Ubud), and Royal Tulip (Jimbaran). Quarantine package prices range from IDR10 million-19 million (US$700–1,320) that cover three meals per day, laundry (five pieces of clothes), two PCR tests, and airport transportation, on top of access to hotel facilities.
Conversely, the “non-bubble” option entails staying inside the hotel room for the entire duration of the mandatory quarantine.
Separately, Syaiful Rabindra, the owner of PT. Gaya Bali, a travel operator based on the island, said that while he appreciated the government’s effort, he believes “bubble” quarantine is less exciting than what Bali outside of the hotel has to offer.
“Travelers will feel bored nevertheless. Hopefully, in the future, there will be no more quarantine because this is something that travelers do not like the most,” Syaiful told Coconuts Bali.
Syaiful’s hopes might come sooner rather than later. Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno said on Monday that the government is reviewing a plan to erase quarantine requirements in Indonesia starting April.
“We are still studying [the plan] including creating its guidelines. If all goes well, hopefully by April [Indonesia] will be quarantine-free,” he said. (coconuts.co 22/02/2022)


Three International Airlines Will Resume Flights To Bali By March

AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS – NOVEMBER 19,2017: Blue commercial boeings aircraft parked at the airport

An official from the Bali Ngurah Rai Airport has confirmed that three international airlines have proposed to resume their flights to Bali.
The President of Angkasa Pura I for Bali Ngurah Rai Airport, Faik Fahmi, confirmed that Jetstar Airways, KLM Royal Dutch, and Scoot Tiger Air have proposed to resume their regular flights to Bali International Terminal by March 2022.
“We’re so happy to hear that these three international airlines plan to resume their regular flights to Bali. This is a positive sign that we gained more trust from foreign visitors who want to start traveling to the island,” Fahmi said on Saturday (19/2).

KLM Royal Dutch plans to resume the Singapore-Denpasar route and operate four flights in one week. Jetstar Airways intends to resume the Denpasar-Singapore, Denpasar-Sydney, and Denpasar-Melbourne routes by operating three flights in a week. Meanwhile, Scoot Tiger Air plans to resume the Singapore-Denpasar route with three flights per week.

Fahmi stated that Angkasa Pura is committed to supporting the efforts to revive international flight traffic by implementing strict prevention protocols.
“We hope that the number of international flights to Bali gradually increases and that this will positively affect the economy,” Fahmi concluded. Since Garuda and Singapore Airlines resumed their international flights to Bali in early February 2022, Bali Airport has recorded 639 passengers. (thebalisun.com 21/02/2022)


Governor pushing for quarantine-free travel to Bali in March

As Bali starts to welcome international tourists back to the island, its governor says he’s pushing for the central government to exempt the province from any quarantine requirements.
In a statement made after welcoming the first Singapore Airlines flight to touch down in Bali in nearly two years yesterday, Governor Wayan Koster said he is doing all he can to convince the central government to abolish quarantine requirements for tourists flying into Bali, as long as they produce a negative PCR test result upon departure and arrival.
Koster said early March would be an ideal time to abolish mandatory quarantine for Bali, citing government data that COVID-19 cases on the island are on the way down.

“Now [the caseload] is slightly decreasing and we have about two weeks [until March]. Hopefully by then conditions will stabilize,” he said.
The governor added that cases in Bali are dominated by the Omicron variant, but 90 percent of patients have exhibited no or mild symptoms.
“Around 8 percent are hospitalized. And the asymptomatic patients generally [test negative] after five days. So it’s quick,” he said.
Under current regulations, travelers who have received two COVID-19 vaccine doses are required to undergo five days of quarantine at a designated hotel upon arrival in Indonesia.
The government said those who have received booster shots may quarantine for only three days starting March 1. Furthermore, a senior minister said the government is mulling erasing mandatory quarantine throughout Indonesia in April should the COVID-19 situation improve.
Bali officials and tourism operators have long called for dispensation of travel restrictions for the island, which relies heavily on tourism dollars. After welcoming some 6 million tourists, the island’s tourism industry came to a complete standstill when the pandemic hit.
Bali reopened to international tourists in October 2021, but the relaunch only began in earnest this month after the government pushed for direct flights and hotels to provide quarantine packages. (coconuts.co 20/02/2022)


Bali Law and Human Rights Service investigates alleged visa mafias

The Bali Regional Office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights conducted an investigation on several travel agents regarding alleged visa mafias targeting foreign tourists entering the Indonesian territory.

“The visa mafias allegedly changed the visa price, and this has become our cause for concern. We have dispatched a team to several travel agents, and we are still investigating this matter,” Head of the Bali Regional Office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights Jamaruli Manihuruk noted in a press statement on Tuesday.

Manihuruk remarked that with this information, all Supporting Technical Units (UPTs) were involved in supervising the travel agents.

In addition, his side will continue to collect information and conduct a preliminary examination into how high the visa price has been set by the agents and how long the practice has run.

“Until now, we have not received any reports of rogue travel agents, and we will continue to monitor the progress in visa applications through travel agents in Bali,” Manihuruk noted.

He informed that the visa tariff had been regulated in accordance with the Indonesian Government’s Regulation Number 28 of 2019 on Types and Tariffs of Non-Tax State Revenue Applicable at the Ministry of Law and Human Rights.

Deputy Governor of Bali Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati had earlier confirmed of the existence of a visa mafia targeting foreign tourists in Indonesia, especially in Bali territory.

In this case, the visa mafia offers quick visas or express visas at prices ranging from Rp4.5 million to Rp5.5 million. The offer was posted on social media platforms, including Instagram.

Manihuruk noted that his side had until now only found one company that was suspected of being a visa mafia. The practice was allegedly running since the past two weeks. (antaranews.com 22/02/2022)


African National Arrested For Crashing His Car Into A Group Of Students In Bali

A 30-year-old man named Chidi Ezonu from Africa has been arrested for crashing his car into a group of motorbikes ridden by high school students.

The Head of the Public Relations Office of the Denpasar Police Department, Iptu I Ketut Sukadi, confirmed that the suspect was arrested for the incident that occurred in Jalan Kunti, Seminyak on Wednesday afternoon (16/2).
“The suspect’s luxury car crashed into four students. Two of them suffered from bone fractures, one suffered some minor injuries, and the other one came out of the accident unscathed. Meanwhile, their motorbikes were completely wrecked,” Iptu Sukadi said during a press conference on Thursday (17/2).
According to witnesses, the suspect drove his Lexus with registration plate B 1199 LK from the east side.
As he entered a bend in a road, Chidi drove a little too far to the right and collided with the moving motorbikes from the other side.
After receiving a report of the incident, officers from the Denpasar police department immediately came to the scene and rushed the victims to Siloam Hospital.
“The suspect has been detained along with his car. He didn’t acquire any injuries from the incident and will potentially face five years of imprisonment,” Sukadi concluded. (thebalisun.com 20/02/2022)

100 Foreign Nationals Arrive At International Terminal Of Bali Airport

Bali officials have confirmed that Bali Airport has received the first batch of international arrivals from Singapore Airlines on February 16.

The Head of the Bali Tourism Board, IB Agus Agung Partha Adnyana, confirmed that 100 foreign nationals would be arriving at the international terminal of Bali Ngurah Rai Airport on Wednesday (16/2).
“Bali airport will receive 100 foreign nationals on the Singapore Airlines international flight on Wednesday,” Adnyana said on Tuesday (15/2). All arriving visitors will be directly transported to the select hotels verified as quarantine facilities by the government.
Adnyana also hopes that this will inspire other international airlines to resume flights to Bali soon. “I hope other international airlines like Jetstar Airways will resume their flights to Bali by March,” Adnyana added.
Meanwhile, the Stakeholder Relation Manager of Angkasa Pura I for Bali Airport, Taufan Yudhistira, stated that the airport is more than ready to operate the international terminal. “After evaluating the international arrival and departure from Japan on February 3 and February 10, we’re quite confident to provide services for incoming international arrivals at Bali Airport,” Taufan said.
He explained that airport officials had improved the airport to handle the influx of foreign tourists better.
“We removed a holding area where visitors had to wait for their PCR test results. Now, they can go to the hotel registration area and be transported to the select hotels straight away. The entire process will only take 30 minutes,” Taufan concluded.  (thebalisun.com 17/02/2022)