Bali to reopen to international flights
Jakarta (CNN) – The Indonesian island of Bali will reopen its airport to international arrivals this month, officials said, signaling that the country is potentially ready to revive its tourism industry after being hit hard by Covid-19.
Bali Ngurah Rai Airport in Denpasar will begin receiving arrivals from a number of countries from October 14, according to Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, Indonesia’s Minister of Maritime Affairs and Investment.
He did not say whether foreign tourists would be allowed.
He said the decision would go ahead provided the airport can meet Covid quarantine, testing and response requirements.
“Each international arriving passenger must have proof of booking a quarantined hotel for a minimum of eight days at their own expense,” Luhut said at a press conference.
The logistics of this plan are still not specified.
There is currently no list of accepted accommodation where tourists will be allowed to self-quarantine, and it is not known whether Bali will open tourist-only “corridors” or “bubbles” to separate travelers and locals. .
Luhut said Indonesia is always selective in allowing which foreigners can enter Indonesia. Citizens of several countries are currently allowed entry under very specific circumstances, including South Korea, China, Japan, United Arab Emirates like Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and New Zealand.
Indonesian Immigration Department spokeswoman Arya Pradhana Anggakara told CNN on Tuesday that tourists – who are only engaged in pleasure travel – are currently not allowed into the country.
Currently, visas are only granted to foreigners deemed urgent and to skilled workers, paramedics or investors. Foreigners married to Indonesians are also allowed.
The announcement comes as the government has extended level three restrictions in Java and Bali for two more weeks. Some facilities may open with gymnasiums operating at limited capacity and food stalls open to businesses.
As of Oct. 5, Indonesia had reported 4,220,206 cases of the virus with 142,261 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. About 20% of the population is fully vaccinated against the virus.
Lilit Marcus was reporting from Hong Kong.