Bali’s limited full reopening: Gov’t reactivates visa on arrival, erases quarantine requirements for 23 nationalities

Tourists visiting a water palace in Bali, before the pandemic. Photo: Pixabay
Tourists visiting a water palace in Bali, before the pandemic. Photo: Pixabay

You can now come to Bali without all the hassle related to travel restrictions! That is, if you’re a citizen of one of two dozen countries on the list. For now, at least.

For the first time since the pandemic started two years ago, Indonesia has reactivated its visa on arrival (VOA) program specifically for foreigners visiting Bali – albeit only applicable to travelers from 23 countries to begin with. 

These countries are Australia, the US, Netherlands, Brunei, Philippines, the UK, Italy, Japan, Germany, Cambodia, Canada, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, France, Qatar, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam.

“The new rule is effective Monday (March 7) and only applies for foreign tourists who want to visit Bali,” said Achmad Nur Saleh, the spokesperson for immigration affairs from the Ministry of Law and Human Rights.

Visitors from those countries who are fully vaccinated and have received booster shots can skip quarantine as long as they provide confirmation that they have booked a three-night stay at a local hotel.

Travelers who are not citizens of the 23 countries are still subject to travel restrictions, including having to undergo three days of quarantine and obtain a visa prior to departure. 

While the VOA is only eligible for people entering Bali, anyone who wishes to fly out of Indonesia can do so via any city in the country. For example, you can fly out of Indonesia by taking a flight outside Indonesia via Jakarta.

It is important to note that per the new rule, a VOA is valid for 30 days (with a possibility for another extension of 30 days) and it cannot be changed into other visas. Those who wish to stay for more than 60 days, for example, need to apply for a business visa first.

Separately, Bali Governor Wayan Koster confirmed the new rule and hoped it would be a boost to the island’s tourism businesses, which have been seriously devastated since Bali closed its international airport due to the pandemic.

In addition, he hoped that the reactivation of VOAs and the lifting of quarantine requirements could put an end to the alleged “visa mafia” and “quarantine mafia” amongst travel agents.

The government previously said it would lift quarantine requirements for Bali by March 14 ahead of the expected nationwide lifting of restrictions in April. It remains to be seen if the new VOA and quarantine rules would apply to travelers outside of the 23 countries by then.

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