Bali to reopen for overseas holidays next week, but not for Australians

Bali, Indonesia- 16 Oct, 2019: Locals and tourists on crowded Kuta Beach in Bali a popular travel destination.

The Indonesian government will allow international travellers from a handful of countries to visit Bali from next week, but Aussies have been left off the list.

On Monday, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Indonesia’s Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister, told a press conference Bali’s Ngurah Rai international airport will reopen for some international flights from 14 October.

“We are open to several countries, including South Korea, China, Japan, United Arab Emirates and New Zealand,” Pandjaitan said, adding that the island would reopen slowly to prevent the “unexpected” from happening.

Tourism and Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno said the initial reopening would focus on travellers and expats who used to live in Bali.

“The most important priority is the safety of the Indonesian people in terms of health and being protected from the potential spike in new cases of COVID-19,” Uno said, according to the Associated Press.

Pandjaitan told reporters visitors would need to quarantine for eight days upon arrival in Bali at their own expense and show proof they have booked a hotel for this purpose upon arrival.

Indonesia has been one of the hardest-hit countries in Asia in terms of COVID-19 infections, recording more than four million cases and 142 deaths, according to Reuters.

Daily cases have been relatively low recently, with 1,100 cases recorded on 3 October, compared to 56,000 in July.

The news came just days after both Qantas and Virgin Australia scheduled a resumption of flights between Australia and Bali from 27 March.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Friday that Australia would be lifting its ban on international travel in mid-November, a month sooner than originally planned.

Following the completion of home quarantine pilots in NSW and South Australia, fully-vaccinated citizens and permanent residents will be able to quarantine at home for seven days, instead of forking out thousands of dollars for two weeks in hotel quarantine.

Featured image source: iStock/Pandjaitan

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