2021-10-05 11:45:35 Indonesia Plans to Let Foreign Flights Into Bali Soon

Indonesia Plans to Let Foreign Flights Into Bali Soon

Indonesia will allow international flights to land at Bali’s airport starting next week, as the country considers reopening to foreign tourists for the first time in more than 18 months.

International carriers from China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates may resume flights to Bali on October 14, according to Luhut Pandjaitan, a top minister in President Joko Widodo’s cabinet.

Under current regulations, eligible passengers would include both Indonesian citizens and foreigners with a work permit or business visa. They would be subjected to an eight-day quarantine at their own expense in a hotel.

Bali is Indonesia’s most popular tourist destination, and closing the island to foreign visitors has devastated the tourism industry, resulting in the layoff of tens of thousands of people. With nearly 143,000 deaths, Indonesia has been the Southeast Asian country hardest hit by Covid. It peaked at nearly 57,000 cases per day in July, though the number of infections has steadily declined since then.

Foreign tourists have been barred from entering Indonesia since April of last year, and international flights are only permitted to land in Jakarta, the capital, and Manado, on the island of Sulawesi.

Sandiaga Uno, Indonesia’s tourism minister, told reporters that reopening Bali’s airport to international flights would be a “trial opening of Bali for foreign tourists,” though he did not provide a timetable for their return. Domestic visitors are already permitted to visit.

He previously stated that Indonesia was studying Thailand’s “Phuket Sandbox,” which allows vaccinated foreign tourists who test negative for Covid-19 to roam freely on Phuket island.

A spokesman for Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport, Taufan Yudhistira, said the airport had not received specific instructions for the reopening but had begun preparing the international terminal and health protocols.

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Indonesia Plans to Let Foreign Flights Into Bali Soon