Bali is preparing to open to foreign visitors from select countries in mid-October ©Getty Images
Bali is preparing to open to foreign visitors from select countries in mid-October ©Getty Images

Bali will partially open to international visitors in mid-October

TripFalcon October 07, 2021

Last Update: 2024-01-03 19:53:16

Bali will reopen to tourists from some countries in mid-October as COVID-19 case numbers continue to decrease across Indonesia's most popular tourist island.

Travelers from China, New Zealand and Japan will be among the first international visitors to be welcomed back to Bali from October 14, senior cabinet minister Luhut Pandjaitan said on Monday via Reuters—as the island's airport opens to international flights. Bali will also allow direct flights from Qatar, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates, local media reports.

This is the first phase of Indonesia's return to tourism. Travelers from these approved countries are still required to quarantine upon arrival in Bali for at least eight days, at their own expense. They also must show proof of their quarantine hotel booking before arrival, proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test result.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian government is reassuring backpackers that they will be permitted to travel to Bali when it reopens to tourists after an official reportedly said they would not be welcome under stricter rules.

There were concerns in September that Bali would limit the type of traveler who could visit the popular tourist resort after the Maritime and Investment coordinator minister, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan—who is also in charge of the COVID-19 response team—reportedly said backpackers would not be allowed in.

“We’ll aim for quality tourism in Bali, so we won’t allow backpackers to enter once the reopening plan for international travelers is officially put in place in the near future,” the Bali Sun reported Luhut said during a virtual press conference in September.

However, in a statement shared with Lonely Planet, Luhut's spokesman said the comments were a "misunderstanding," and the minister meant "visitors who violate health rules and regulations, laws and immigration regulations in Indonesia [will not be allowed to enter]." The government spokesperson added that all foreign visitors and tourists can visit Bali when permitted through its phased reopening, provided they adhere to protocols.

A date has not yet been set for the return of tourists from other countries such as the US, UK and Canada. The US Embassy in Indonesia says "travel to and within Indonesia is highly discouraged at this time". 

Indonesia has suffered one of the world's worst COVD-19 surges, driven by the highly infectious Delta variant. But after reporting a second wave earlier this year, coronavirus case numbers are declining, and at least 27% of the population is fully vaccinated.

Source: lonelyplanet