Five Italian nationals were allegedly stranded at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport, according to a viral social media post, as they are reportedly unable to return home nor are they permitted to enter Indonesia.
The story of the travelers first appeared on social media yesterday morning, posted by the Denpasar Info page on both Facebook and Instagram, accompanied by several photos.
“Five Italians have been held at Bali airport since three days [ago]! Immigration doesn’t want to allow them to go to Italy or return to Bali, and they are sleeping in a very concerning condition and there’s a 70-year-old woman who has epilepsy,” the post reads.
The photos show several people, including elderly Italians, sitting in a corridor with their luggage, with no proper furniture to sit on, in what appears to be a makeshift space to accommodate the foreigners.
According to a report from Kumparan and an update on the original posts, the foreigners have since left the airport and were granted emergency visas to temporarily stay in Indonesia.
“They actually want to return to their home country. But they can’t because the countries where they transited have rejected them. So they ended up returning to Bali and are now here,” Sutrisno, who heads the regional office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, was quoted as saying.
He further explained that the five Italians had arrived in Bali in February on on-arrival visas lasting 30 days. On their journey back home recently, they were rejected from making a stop in Thailand.
“We have allowed them to leave the airport. They don’t have plans to fly anywhere else. We gave them a choice of either going back or staying in Bali by extending their visas,” Sutrisno said, adding that the travelers chose the latter option.
Coconuts Bali has reached out to the Italian Embassy in Indonesia for confirmation and will update this story as soon as we hear from them.
As of Thursday afternoon, the latest official data shows that 41,035 people in Italy were confirmed to have been infected with the novel coronavirus. The death toll in that country is 3,405, which has officially overtaken that of China.
Indonesia currently has 369 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Of those, 17 patients have recovered while 32 have died.
Read more news and updates from Bali here.