Bali Aims to Reopen to International Tourists in September
Bali is an Indonesian island known for its forested volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, beaches and coral reefs. The island is home to religious sites, picturesque beaches, nightlife, popular resort towns, yoga and meditation retreats. That’s the reason why it is a big tourist attraction. Bali is arguably Indonesia’s most popular tourist destination. Almost 6.3 million foreign tourist visited the island in 2019. But like every other destination around the world, Bali has also been off limits to international tourists due to the pandemic outbreak.
But soon you could be able to visit Bali once again, if everything goes according to plan. Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati, Bali’s vice-governor and former chair of the island’s hotel and restaurant association, tells CNN Travel they have a tentative reopening date set for September 11, because reopening is critical to the island’s economy.
Hotel arrivals in July were down over 99% year on year, while the island is missing out on around 9.7 trillion rupiah (over $650 million) of income every month. Tens of thousands of local workers have been laud off and even more workers in Bali’s large informal tourist economy are hurting without visitors.
Even if the island reopens, the number of visitors willing to travel there will likely be far off last years numbers. All foreign visitors arriving in Indonesia are required to hold a health certificate issued by health authorities from their home countries and undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities conducted by the Indonesian government or self-quarantine under supervision of the Indonesian health authority.
Additionally, most travel and medical insurers will not cover visitors to destinations their government recommends avoiding. Indonesia continues to see an upward trajectory of new COVID-19 cases, although Bali has been doing a better job at flattening the curve.
Quarantining for two weeks is not something you want to do while on vacation, so any type of reopening for Bali will need cooperation from the central government. They are the ones who dictate when tourist visas can be issued. It will probably take a bit longer for Indonesia to demonstrate control over the pandemic, and even the current numbers that are reported, are considered as under counted.
Entry and Exit Requirements for U.S. Citizens
U.S. Citizens are permitted to enter Indonesia, but only with an existing valid visa or residence permit. The Indonesian government has restricted foreign visitors from transiting and traveling to Indonesian Territory unless they are in possession of an existing valid visa or residence permit.
Visa-free and visa-on-arrival entry for all foreign travelers, including U.S. citizens, remains suspended. So far, the Indonesian government has not indicated a timeline for when international visitors will be able to enter the country.