Governor pushing for quarantine-free travel to Bali in March

Bali Governor Wayan Koster. Photo: Bali Provincial Government
Bali Governor Wayan Koster. Photo: Bali Provincial Government

As Bali starts to welcome international tourists back to the island, its governor says he’s pushing for the central government to exempt the province from any quarantine requirements.

In a statement made after welcoming the first Singapore Airlines flight to touch down in Bali in nearly two years yesterday, Governor Wayan Koster said he is doing all he can to convince the central government to abolish quarantine requirements for tourists flying into Bali, as long as they produce a negative PCR test result upon departure and arrival.

Koster said early March would be an ideal time to abolish mandatory quarantine for Bali, citing government data that COVID-19 cases on the island are on the way down.

“Now [the caseload] is slightly decreasing and we have about two weeks [until March]. Hopefully by then conditions will stabilize,” he said.

The governor added that cases in Bali are dominated by the Omicron variant, but 90 percent of patients have exhibited no or mild symptoms.

“Around 8 percent are hospitalized. And the asymptomatic patients generally [test negative] after five days. So it’s quick,” he said.

Under current regulations, travelers who have received two COVID-19 vaccine doses are required to undergo five days of quarantine at a designated hotel upon arrival in Indonesia.

The government said those who have received booster shots may quarantine for only three days starting March 1. Furthermore, a senior minister said the government is mulling erasing mandatory quarantine throughout Indonesia in April should the COVID-19 situation improve.

Bali officials and tourism operators have long called for dispensation of travel restrictions for the island, which relies heavily on tourism dollars. After welcoming some 6 million tourists, the island’s tourism industry came to a complete standstill when the pandemic hit. 

Bali reopened to international tourists in October 2021, but the relaunch only began in earnest this month after the government pushed for direct flights and hotels to provide quarantine packages.

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