JAKARTA: Travellers from abroad can enter Indonesia’s Bali island quarantine-free starting on Monday (Mar 7), said Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan.
Speaking at a virtual press conference, Mr Pandjaitan said the government decided to make Bali quarantine-free given the COVID-19 situation in Indonesia, where the caseload has subsided and the fatality rate is considered relatively low.
The Monday announcement was brought forward by a week. Earlier, the government planned to allow foreigners to enter Bali quarantine-free from Mar 14.
As of Sunday, Indonesia reported 24,867 COVID-19 cases and 254 deaths. A total of 229 cases were in Bali and 11 deaths. Indonesia recorded its highest daily caseload last month with over 57,000 cases.
To travel quarantine-free, travellers must have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result taken before the departure and upon arrival, proof of a minimum four-day hotel booking in Bali as well as health insurance.
They must also take another PCR test on their third day in Indonesia.
Mr Pandjaitan added: “If this trial is successful, we will implement quarantine-free travel for all arrivals from abroad arriving in the country as of April 1, 2022, or even sooner.”
Also from Monday, tourists from 23 countries entering Bali’s Ngurah Rai airport can obtain a visa on arrival instead of needing to apply for a visa pre-departure.
Citizens of Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, Australia and the United States are among those eligible for the scheme.
The government hopes the programme will help revive Bali’s battered economy.
Prior to COVID-19, Bali was Indonesia’s main tourist destination. The pandemic has hit the island’s economy hard as it contracted 9.3 per cent in 2020 and 2.47 per cent last year.
In October last year, the government announced a list of 19 countries where international tourists were allowed to enter Bali, as the province reopened to visitors. However, travellers had to be quarantined for five days.
Last week, Singapore announced that there will be a new vaccinated travel lane with Bali from Mar 16.