Foreigners must now be vaccinated to fly into/out of Bali, but getting the jab is an issue

An Indonesian citizen showing their COVID-19 vaccination “card.” Photo: Kemenparekraf
An Indonesian citizen showing their COVID-19 vaccination “card.” Photo: Kemenparekraf

Indonesia’s new no vax, no fly policy is sending foreign nationals in Bali into a frenzy, from anti-vaxxers condemning the move, to travelers who prefer to get the COVID jab in their home countries, to those frustrated with not being able to get vaccinated even if they wanted to.

The COVID-19 Task Force issued the new requirements yesterday, which mandates that foreign nationals entering Indonesia must test negative for the coronavirus and to show a card or certificate that indicates they have received their full dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Foreigners who are already in Indonesia and are wishing to travel within the country are subject to domestic travel rules for Indonesian nationals, with one notable rule being that they are allowed to travel after having received at least one dose of the COVID-19 jab as well as a negative test result.

The vaccine certificate requirement does not apply to foreign nationals with diplomatic visas, visiting on an official state capacity, or entering Indonesia under the Travel Corridor Arrangement scheme. Indonesians traveling from abroad can get their vaccines once they arrive in the country.

The new regulation was met with strong reactions from foreign nationals, who took to social media to air their frustrations. 

One Facebook user said they recently arrived in Jakarta from the Netherlands and intended to travel to Bali, but are now unable to do so because they “do not want to be vaccinated.”

Another user, who says he’s seeking to leave Indonesia as soon as possible, wrote last night: “I’m not interested in taking the vaccines that are available here in Indonesia for personal reasons and just trying to get my family back home.”

Even for those who want to get vaccinated in Indonesia, they must meet certain criteria and requirements. In their latest circular, the COVID-19 Task Force said that foreign nationals who are already in Indonesia and want to travel are obliged to get vaccinated through their employers via the independent schemes available in the country, namely the Gotong Royong program. All of the new requirements are applicable at least until July 20, which is the last day of Indonesia’s Emergency Enforcement of Restrictions on Public Activities (Emergency PPKM or PPKM Darurat in Indonesian), pending further review for extension.

Also Read ⁠—  Jab and fly: Garuda Indonesia launches COVID-19 vaccination scheme for passengers

An announcement issued by the Ngurah Rai International Airport this morning says that passengers can get their COVID-19 jabs starting today at the airport, though foreigners are required to show their temporary stay permits (KITAS) or permanent stay permits (KITAP). 

Online, some foreigners without KITAS or KITAP have shared success stories on getting their COVID-19 jabs, but the flurry of information is still widely unclear for the time being. Some expressed hopes that officials will amend the rules to make their lives easier, but are resigned to sharing helpful information on social media for now.

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