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Bali’s back for bookings but be prepared

by on February 6, 2022
 

Indonesia has re-opened Bali to all foreign tourists who have had at least two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. However only only tourists from a limited list of countries have been allowed to fly direct to Bali since mid-October 2021, although many nearby countries, including Australia and Malaysia weren’t on the list.

Update: Australia and Malaysia are included in the list of 23 countries whose citizens can now apply for a Visa on arrival (VoA) and quarantine is no longer required for fully vaccinated travellers. This change went into effect on 7th March 2022.

There are currently no direct flights from Australia or Malaysia to Bali, although some airlines are opening bookings in expectation of borders opening soon for departing tourists. Update: Australia has reopening its borders to all travellers on 21st February 2022, so we can expect an increase in the number of flights soon. 

How to get to Bali?

The first commercial tourist flight in almost two years landed in Bali earlier this week, when eight Japanese travellers arrived on a direct Garuda flight from Tokyo on what is planned as a weekly service.

  • Singapore Airlines expects to begin weekly flights from Singapore on 16th February.
  • Jetstar has tentative plans to resume flights to Bali from Sydney and Melbourne on 1st March 1, which may be brought forward if approval is given by Indonesian authorities.
  • Qantas is scheduled to resume flights in late March. This may change, so keep an eye out for dates.
  • Virgin Australia has not yet announced any tentative restart date.
  • Malindo Air has opened bookings out of Brisbane and Melbourne, with both services due to start on 27th March 2022.
    • This is based on expectation of borders reopening by that date.
    • The airline has confirmed that travellers affected by the border closures in 2020 may use their vouchers for online booking purchases.

Plenty of new rules 

You’ll need to do some preparation before you leave, so you’ll be able to enjoy your well earned rest. Some will incur extra costs and others are time sensitive.

  • All foreign tourists must have a certificate proving they’ve had
  • Even fully vaccinated international passengers arriving in Bali must still quarantine for five days.
    • There are five designated quarantine hotels
    • All are five-star hotels or resorts in Nusa Dua, Jimbaran, Sanur or Ubud
    • Travellers are responsible for the hotel charges
  • These hotels have been set up as “quarantine bubbles”.
    • Guests are not confined to their rooms but may move around freely in the hotel/resort and use facilities including swimming pools, gyms, and in-house restaurants.
    • Hotel employees in the quarantine bubble are also confined to the resort for the duration of the quarantine period.
    • Tourists under quarantine must return a negative PCR test on their fourth day of quarantine before they can leave on day 5.
  • Travel insurance worth at least $US25,000 ($35,000) to cover the cost of any medical care or evacuation is required for all travellers.
    • You must show proof of this cover, which must specifically include becoming sick with COVID-19 while you’re in Bali.

At the airport

Tourist visas are no longer be available on arrival.

  • Travellers will need to obtain a visa before departure for Indonesia.
    • The visa currently costs USD50
  • International travellers must take a PCR test at Ngurah Rai airport.
    • You must wait for a negative result before departure to your quarantine hotel.
  • Travellers with a positive test result will be sent to an isolation centre at their own cost.
    • For severe symptoms, you will be taken to a hospital and can only leave after a negative test.
  • You must download the island check-in app, PeduliLindungi.
    • The app must be used if you visit local shops, hotels, restaurants or other locations.
    • This also includes beaches such as Kuta Beach.

Bali’s tourism industry, the island’s main source of income, has been badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. Border closures and the cessation of commercial flights have drastically reduced the income of up to 70% of the Balinese population who earn their living either directly or indirectly from tourism.

Bali has a far higher vaccination rate than in most other provinces of Indonesia. In tourist areas including Nusa Dua, Sanur and Ubud, 100% of the population have had two doses of a vaccine. Away from these areas, the rate for double dosed Balinese is between 72 and 90%.

Australia’s Smartraveller website warns Australians visiting Indonesia to be aware of risks, despite cancelling its global “do not travel” advice in late 2021. The situation remains fluid and you must do your homework regardless of where you plan to travel.

Denpasar airport departure

Orchid Garden, Ngurah Rai International Airport Denpasar

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