No direct international flights to Bali yet even though island has ‘officially’ reopened

A traditional gate in Bali. Photo: Unsplash
A traditional gate in Bali. Photo: Unsplash

The day has finally come for Bali’s long-awaited international reopening, but tourists might have to wait a little longer to actually get on a flight and holiday on the island, as officials appear to still be working on the nuts and bolts even today. 

Indonesia announced only last night which source countries are eligible for entry into Bali, identifying 19 in total that include China, India, Japan, South Korea, and a number of countries in Europe and the Gulf. 

With things being so last-minute, there are no scheduled international flights for today, as confirmed by the Bali Tourism Agency Chief I Putu Astawa. 

“There is no information [yet] on plane arrival from abroad or foreign visitors coming to Bali [today],” Astawa said. 

“Of course they need time to arrange visas or their flights.”

Even today, a spokesman for the Ngurah Rai International Airport told local media outlets that the facility is not welcoming international flights just yet, citing what appears to be bureaucratic hiccups. Though Indonesia’s COVID-19 Task Force has issued a regulation and identified Bali as among the points of entry for international flights, the airport is still waiting for official instructions from the Transportation Ministry to actually make that a reality. 

“We have yet to receive a letter from the Transportation Ministry with regards to [welcoming] international flights,” Taufan Yudhistira said.

Only fully vaccinated tourists from the 19 eligible countries are allowed to visit Bali, and they must also get on direct flights, according to Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan. It might be worth mentioning that not all the countries listed have direct flights to Denpasar, even before the pandemic. 

Other specific requirements include, but are not limited to, a five-day mandatory quarantine period upon arrival at the travelers’ expense, health insurance with coverage of at least US$100,000, and proof of booking for accommodation during their time in Indonesia.

So tell us Coconauts, are you among those making arrangements to visit Bali anytime soon? Let us know in the comments or via social media!

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