Rice fields of the island of Bali at sunrise, Indonesia

Bali’s journey to reopening hasn’t been smooth sailing. It was supposed to open in 2020, then early 2021, then mid, then… yeah, you get the point. It hasn’t quite gone to plan.

Despite the setbacks, fresh and more realistic plans emerged recently with officials stating formally that a tourism reopening must happen, particularly in places where vaccination levels are high, like Bali. Unlike previous statements from regional leaders, the central government now backs these reopening efforts.

And so here we are, with brand new plans to open Bali to visitors from an initial list of travel corridor countries starting in October 2021, starting with 4 countries.

Rice fields of the island of Bali at sunrise, Indonesia

Bali To Welcome Visitors From 4 Countries In October

Bali’s Deputy Governor, Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati (aka Cok Ace), says the island of the Gods is planning to reopen in October to select visitors, in line with other recent suggestions from the Indonesian government.

Latest statistics say that 97% of locals on the islands have received at least one dose of covid-19 vaccination, and all vaccination efforts are set to wrap up in October, leaving little reason not to reopen. More than 18 months without tourism has had devastating effects on local businesses.

Vaccination rates mean Bali can soon reopen to “trusted” countries from which visitors and tourism brings in significant revenue to the island. According to the Bali Sun, which quotes, Cok Ace, the list will initially include Germany, Russia, The United States and United Kingdom.

“We have selected multiple countries such as Russia, America, Germany and England to start implementing the travel bubble program based on their length of stay in Bali.”

Cok Ace, Vice Governor of Bali

A specific date in October has yet to become official, but visitors from these countries should be able to start planning trips with more concrete belief that they will go ahead, particularly for fully vaccinated visitors.

Plans from both Indonesia and Bali specifically have come and gone before, so it’s important to leave wiggle room via airline or hotel flexibility policies, until clearer rules and protocols are set.

a red flower on a glass table with a mountain in the background

Will Visitors Be Limited?

Bali plans to allow unfettered access to the island, provided cases remain within a realm of expected rise. If cases rise above expected surge levels, as part of the travel reopening, “green zones” could be created, which would see most visitors limited to areas such as Ubud, or Nusa Dua, among others.

Since these are the places most people end up anyway, it wouldn’t necessarily be the worst, but all hopes are that high vaccination rates on the island will allow tourists to explore fully.

Initially opening only to tourist visitors from countries where the pandemic is largely becoming endemic, and vaccination rates are climbing, should help lead a successful and sustainable reopening.

Are you going to head back to Bali?

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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  1. Allowing visitors from Russia where Covid cases and death are climbing and not including others countries such as France, Canada, Scandinavian countries and many others where the pandemy is under control doesn’t make sense. Officials in Indonesia have lost all credibility but this is not new !!

  2. Fully vaccinated and can’t wait to return to Bali. Have 2 ticketed itineraries that have been rescheduled multiple times. Closest tentative departure is for the end of November….next one in February.

  3. Russia? They have the most manipulated statistics than any other country! Every day their number of deaths is the same and has been since the start of the pandemic. I really wonder how these countries choose who they will open to. And USA? With full hospitals at the moment? Unreal.

    1. Let’s be clear – most people in US hospitals are unvaccinated people. In highly vaccinated areas, hospitalizations and deaths have not reached the peaks found in the least vaccinated states. That’s drawing seismic conclusions on very varying situations. As to Russia, perhaps they’re a very large portion of the inbound tourism market, or have the highest average spend.

      1. The Russia part throws me off as well. To put it mildly, Russians are not known as either big spenders or benign tourists – think ugly Americans from the 60’s on a really bad day – so there must be some other reason. Mainland Chinese tourists tend to be in tightly packed tour groups that don’t do much for small businesses so given Bali’s desire to make their tourist market more upscale it makes sense to avoid lots of tour groups, at least for now. That narrows the options. I imagine the four country test run will expand substantially after a month.

      2. see you removed my comment with straightforward info about vaccination.

        Another blogger to avoid.

        1. All comments get stopped for moderation. You’re welcome to post again. If it was the nutty anti Vax rant, we’ll see if that one gets binned again!

    2. USA is very much up and awake about the pandemic. We dropped the statistics dramatically. We do have pharmacy open to give people vaccine each day. We literally line up to get it up to the streets. You can tell how serious US citizens response on how important to get over the pandemic together.

    3. Think that it only news. I leave in Russia. All ok. If you heard about a lot off death and believe in that, just no need read news…

    1. Yes what about the Netherlands with 85% double vaccination, low hospital occupation and positive cases low and going down while most restrictions lifted.

  4. Just avoid going to Indonesia, Bali, and let them starve to death. I hate places like this, “choosing” who can go and who can’t. Just boycott them and let starvation do the job. Hungry people always revolt.

    1. We’ll, it’s been like this in most countries for decades. It’s called the visa system!
      Most countries have had lists of which passports can gain automatic entry, which passports need to apply, and which passports are not allowed.

    2. @Mac Darvish

      Do you realize that many of these people—who once relied on agriculture to survive—now rely on tourism to earn a living. Corporate real estate magnates have overtaken their territory and, while providing low-paying jobs, they make the lion’s share of the profit. I don’t doubt that the average worker would just as soon see them leave, but the government and wealthy (and government, etc.) are also profiting from the embezzlement of tax monies.

      Starve to death? You reap what you sow. I don’t know if death or living with your perspective of humanity is the more appropriate punishment.

      Either way, I don’t feel sorry for your sorry ass…just those that have to be anywhere near you.

  5. Canada has higher vaccination rates than any of the four countries allowed. Allowing US and Russian tourists is a joke. This is clearly an economic decision and not a health-based decision

    1. Oh Mr. Davis aren’t you so entitled. You can trash talk but isn’t it too far? Disgusting. They can pick whichever countries they please, also has it ever crossed your mind that citizens from those countries on the list probably spend more on average than you could potentially be? There is no need for the acerbic words, sir.

  6. Yep, v suspicious putting Russia and the USA into the mix. Probably only admit the vaccinated ones… our flights are fro end of Oct so between two minds whether to still plan to go. We can go to HKT either or, but they are flip flopping too on dates and entry requirements.

    1. Western Australia is the only state with ZERO Covid infection and soon 90% of the population vaccinated. Do Bali forgot what West Australian did for the Island over the years particularly during the terrorist bombing of Kuta?

  7. First we have a minister pontificating off the hat that Bali will ban “backpackers” going forward to which we are dazed as to how can it be implemented? Would immigration simply turn away visitors who carry a back pack….?
    Now we see another unacademic approach to a politically sensitive matter where botch is made by random selection of 4 countries, names drawn from a hat?

  8. What the hell! Bali is Australia’s second home. If we are not in Bali we are here mostly. I don’t understand. Just walk around Bali and you’ll see it caters for Ozzie’s. Loyalty means Shit to the Indonesians it seems.

  9. Will be a pleasure to see Bali without drunk and rowdy Australians . . . who are currently locked within the tender embraces of their dictatorial prison masters whether Bali allows them in or not.

    The reason for the choices I assume, is that the Minister of Tourism simply picked the 5 countries with the highest average spend. If people are really vaccinated, it makes no difference where they come from or what passport they hold.

    1. Yes. Once fully vaccinated, it makes no difference what country they’re from. The countries chosen likely is based on average spend.

      And please stop generalizing that Russians aren’t big spenders. I personally know middle-class Russians… and let me tell you they SPEND BIG on their vacations.

      Stop the prejudicial hate posts please.

  10. If spending weights more than health and safety, then regardless of nationality the basis would only be your type (cost) of accomodation and amount of money to spend during stay in Bali…. simple as this and no brain needed to let the tourists in

  11. These potential tourists from these 4 Countries are unaware that Bali has decided to place them in 8 days of Quarantine on arrival in designated hotels. The tourists must pay the costs for Quarantine accoomodation.

    Who is going to travel from hakfway around the world to holiday in Bali, just to waste the first 8 days stuck inside a hotel?? The Indonesion Government are Idiots!! Let’s see how many tourists actually go to Bali under those conditions.

  12. All these countries are rich and well off, and why not? After all Bali need tourist to sustain their livelihood, it is a dangerous plan but one cannot eat the icing alone

  13. thanks for the information! I hope its true, since as of today, US travel to Indonesia is still restricted to non-tourism.

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