Bali airport sees more passengers as COVID-19 tests become cheaper

Travelers at the Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali. Photo: Ngurah Rai International Airport
Travelers at the Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali. Photo: Ngurah Rai International Airport

Pockets of domestic travel appear to have improved in Indonesia, at least where traffic is concerned, as COVID-19 tests drop in prices. This is true in Bali, where the number of passengers passing through Ngurah Rai International Airport has doubled recently.

According to Taufan Yudhistira, a spokesman from airport management firm PT Angkasa Pura I, the recent ease in domestic travel requirements, which now allows fully vaccinated passengers to fly only with a negative rapid antigen result within Java and Bali, have resulted in more people passing through Ngurah Rai. Those who have only been vaccinated once, as well as those traveling to other regions in the country, must present a negative PCR test result. 

“Then there’s also the lowered cost of PCR tests, [that has resulted] in more passengers and as of last Friday we also adjusted the prices for rapid antigen tests … and there’s been an increase in passengers,” Taufan said. 

Taufan said the airport served around 2,500 passengers daily previously, but saw almost 6,000 passengers just last Friday. 

The Indonesian government recently lowered prices for COVID tests, after more than a year of the crucial diagnostic tool being financially out of reach for many Indonesians. PCR tests are now capped at IDR495,000 in Java and Bali, and IDR525,000 for the rest of the country. Meanwhile, rapid antigen tests now cost IDR99,000 for Java and Bali, and IDR109,000 for outside the region. These new prices are about half of what they used to cost. 

US$1=IDR14,232

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