Indonesia will reopen its popular tourist island of Bali to international travellers from selected low-risk countries from October 14.
The much-anticipated announcement was made by coordinating minister of maritime affairs and investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan on Monday (October 4).
Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport will reopen to international flights from October 14, Luhut said, adding that visitors are required to pre-book a hotel for a minimum eight-day stay for quarantine purposes at their own expense.
The reopening applies only to a number of countries including China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and the UAE.
In a separate media briefing, Sandiaga Uno, minister of tourism and creative economy, said: “Initially, our target markets are the business travellers and returning expatriates who used to live in Bali.”
He added that only direct flights will be permitted to land on the island, with no transit passengers allowed.
Sandiaga assured tourism stakeholders that the government will gradually reopen Bali on a broader scale. “We decided that the opening of Bali should be carried out carefully in stages, and in a sustainable manner, so that there will be no spike in Covid cases because (our) main priority remains the safety and security of the Balinese people,” he said.
The government is still finalising some steps, including requirements for incoming foreign travellers, according to Sandiaga.
He added that the reopening of Bali is also part of preparations for the island to host the G20 Summit in 2022. “We must take these preparatory steps so that the G20 Summit will run smoothly and without spikes in Covid-19 cases,” he said.