Bali to be quarantine-free for int’l visitors mid-March or sooner: senior minister

Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan. Photo: Ministry handout
Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan. Photo: Ministry handout

Planning to travel to Bali? You may consider booking your flight and hotel now (as RuPaul would say: start your engines!). A senior Indonesian minister has said that international visitors arriving on the Island of Gods will not be required to undergo quarantine as of March 14 or even sooner. 

Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan, who oversees policies on COVID-19 restrictions in Indonesia, said yesterday that Bali has been chosen as a “test-drive” destination before the quarantine erasure can be done on a national scale. 

The announcement came as a new quarantine rule, in which foreign visitors who have received booster vaccines will only be required to undergo three-day isolation upon arrival, comes into effect today.

As for the quarantine-free travel plan, Luhut said that Bali will serve as the pilot project on March 14.

“It could be sooner than that. A week ahead [of March 14],” he said.

The plan is still subject to how well Bali, Indonesia’s tourism destination hotspot that has been hampered since the pandemic started two years ago, handles COVID-19 cases in the next week. However, Luhut added that the island has been showing progress in terms of flattening the curve of COVID-19 cases as well as showing the best full-vaccination rates in comparison to other parts of Indonesia.

Visitors who wish to travel without quarantine in the future, according to the plan, must book at least a four-night stay at a local hotel and take two PCR tests (one upon arrival and another one on the third day of their visit).

If everything goes according to plan, the rest of Indonesia will be quarantine-free as of April 1, Luhut added.

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