Not too unlike Thailand, Bali’s road to reopening has been marked with potholes. There have been plans, then other plans, then cancellations and then u-turns after that, with one often more confusing than the next.

But on October 14th, Bali moved forward and reopened to select visitors without any lengthy quarantine, with a reopening for 19 countries. The only problem was: no one came. To attempt to lure flights back, Bali even waived landing fees for the year, but that didn’t pan out either.

Now, as the country reimposes a minimum 7 day supervised quarantine for all visitors, there’s just no clear picture as to when Bali will reopen, or what will still be there.

Bali Tourism Recovery?

Just a couple months ago, Balinese officials said the Indonesian island would be opening to visitors from the US, UK, Russia and Germany. Then, just days later, a newly finalized list was published without the US, UK, Russia or Germany.

The 19 country list allowed visitors to enter Bali with proof of vaccination once again, but given that Bali had already changed planned reopening dates more than a handful of times, people simply chose not to take the risk.

How do we know? Airlines still haven’t scheduled flights. With the reintroduction of a mandatory quarantine, there’s no flights even under discussion.

From November 29th, Bali will revert to virtually impossible tourism conditions, and when considering that the island failed to attract any visitors (literally, zero) when it reopened prior to Omicron, there’s just no way of telling when that will change.

At last glance, Wayan Koster, the Governor of Bali wasn’t too sure, either.

“We haven’t seen any international arrivals for this week, and we’re still not sure about next week as well.”

Wayan Koster

Among the list of Bali’s 19 initially accepted reopening countries, few are even actively traveling right now.

New Zealand, Japan, Korean and China particularly remain largely closed, and only a few European and Middle Eastern options exist, with Sweden, France, Hungary, Spain, Italy and Poland, the UAE, Qatar and India among the mail eligible.

As we’ve seen with many other country lists for tourism reopening events, the basis for these choices is somewhat unclear.

Countries including the US, UK and Germany are notably absent, despite strong levels of vaccination. These countries represent huge tourism markets, and may account for why airlines haven’t initiated any flights.

Bali Hopes For January?

Bali’s reopening plans still remain murky, with confusion around things like quarantine periods and testing needs, in additional to accepted vaccination proof. And now, even just a reasonable date.

It’s an odd cart or horse situation. Theoretically, people who fly directly to Bali from the country list above can still visit, but with no direct flights scheduled, it’s an idea, not an option.

Like many travel plans during covid-19, virtually everything is subject to change, but it’s hard to see how the island may open before the end of 2021. No flights are scheduled and no clear action, with the exception of a decent website, shed any light.

At this point, your guess is as good as anyone else.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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7 Comments

  1. I’ve read a couple of other news stories saying those from the 19 countries can come only if vaccinated and still with a required 5-day quarantine at the traveler’s expense. Maybe why few are booking?

  2. Bali’s announcement came at quite short notice, and whilst airlines do need time to schedule, the biggest hiderances right now are a mandatory 5 day quarantine in an approved hotel, as well as lack of visa on arrival. Visitors are still required to get an e-visa via the hotel or an agent. Unless they change these 2 policies, I fear few will bother to holiday in Bali.

  3. The residents of COVID FREE WESTERN AUSTRALIA are far from living under rocks. We have a blessed COVID FREE LIFESTYLE and we will protect our COVID FREE LIFESTYLE FREE OF any restrictions. You just want in but we have locked you out.

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