It’s official. Foreign nationals in Bali are now subject to a higher fine of IDR1 million (US$69.80) if they are caught without masks the first time, while a second violation may subject them to deportation from Indonesia, according to a new regulation.
The new rules are laid out in Bali Gubernatorial Regulation No. 10/2021 and officially came into effect on March 4, though today appears to be the first time Governor Wayan Koster announced it in public.
For months now, authorities have had to deal with foreigners defying the province’s mandatory mask rule, as they make up the majority of violators in regions such as Badung. Just last month, the Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) said that 90 percent of mask rule violators in the regency are foreigners.
As a result, Koster said that the central government has urged his administration to implement stricter administrative sanctions for those who disobey health protocols.
Bali started implementing a mandatory mask rule in September, where individuals without masks outside of their homes were subject to an IDR100,000 (US$6.98) fine, which applied for both Indonesian citizens and foreign nationals.
However, foreigners appear to have disproportionately disregarded the rule in the months since, with authorities saying that those initial fines were “too cheap” for them. Under the new regulation, Indonesians without masks are still subject to IDR100,000 fine, but the fine for foreign nationals has increased tenfold for their first violation.
Should they be caught a second time without masks, they could face deportation.
After almost a year of foreigners refusing to wear masks in public, especially in popular areas like Ubud and Canggu, are we about to see better compliance to basic health protocols across the island?