Bali, the land of Gods as its known, is top drawer for any bucket list. It’s remote, exotic, full of culture, nature, and the food people travel thousands of miles for. Unfortunately it’s also closed to international visitors at the moment.
Green shoots are appearing however, as vaccines begin to hit critical numbers, and that means countries and islands such as Bali are looking to reopen. If you’re in deep desire to go, here’s the latest on what’s known for reopening plans…
Bali’s Latest Travel Reopening Plans
Bali is actively looking to reopen borders for foreign visitors and is focusing efforts to allow vaccinated travelers back in first. Plans to open late in 2020 were scuppered by a rise in cases, but vaccination drives are underway on the island, which is creating new enthusiasm to open up borders.
The regional government in Badung is eager to get the central government to create allowances for vaccinated travelers in place ASAP, while the list of countries doing so is still relatively small, and Bali would still stand out as a leading option. Already, rapid testing for arrivals is being put into place.
Coordinating Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan says the island is nearly ready to welcome back visitors, once new restrictions are agreed. The minister told the Bali Sun that decreases in cases will allow the government to open economic activity, including tourism.
“The Indonesian government continues to improve facilities related to Covid-19 throughout Bali, including in preparation for the upcoming G-20 Summit in Bali. Not only that, the Indonesian government has also invited foreign embassies to make field visits to Bali to witness first hand the steps. “Covid-19 controls are implemented to filter and protect foreign tourists,”Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment, Indonesia.
Destinations eager to capitalize on these low risk travelers are popping up all over the place, with options from Iceland to the Seychelles opening doors to anyone with proof of vaccination, so long as they’re still willing to provide a negative test before travel.
Pent up demand and millions of people already vaccinated would create a rather large subset of people able to travel with minimal risk to the local population, and could do wonders for the local economy, which has suffered significantly without visitors.
But first, Bali’s got some housekeeping to do, and that’s mostly to do with current expats on the island.
Expats and digital nomads who remained in Bali during covid-19 attracted scorn the world over for flaunting local covid-19 restrictions. Fines imposed are significant to the local population, but at around $7 in western currency, many visitors are choosing to pay, rather than do their part to wear masks and obey other measures.
As part of current planning to welcome back international visitors, fines would jump to $70 on the spot, and deportation would be on the table for subsequent offenses by all visitors.
Bali: Reading Between The Lines
First it was September 11th, 2020 for a reopening date, then before the new year, and here we are into the third month of that “new year” without a definitive date. However, things are much closer to finalized than they were, now that vaccine distribution is on the up, with more than 13,000 on the island already receiving their first dose.
If you’re reading between the lines, Bali is very likely to open to vaccinated travelers in the near term, and is working on tightening up restrictions for non-vaccinated travelers so that local rules aren’t abused when more visitors are granted entry as well.
Planning trips for the second half of 2021, particularly if you’ve been vaccinated seems like a fair bet right now. When you do go, be sure to follow these essential tips for Bali, so you don’t miss a thing.