Indonesia plans to allow foreign flights to Bali soon
Indonesia will allow international flights to start landing at the airport on the island of Bali next week as it plans to reopen the country to foreign tourists for the first time in more than 18 months.
International airlines from countries such as China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates may resume flights to Bali on October 14, senior cabinet minister Luhut Pandjaitan said on Monday. of President Joko Widodo.
Under current rules, eligible passengers would include Indonesian citizens as well as foreigners with work permits or business visas. They would be subjected to an eight-day quarantine in a hotel at their expense.
Bali is Indonesia’s top tourist destination, and the island’s closure to foreign tourists has devastated the tourism industry, causing tens of thousands of people to lose their jobs. Indonesia has been the country in Southeast Asia hardest hit by Covid, with nearly 143,000 deaths. It peaked at nearly 57,000 cases per day in July, although the number of infections has fallen sharply since then.
Foreign tourists have been banned from entering Indonesia since April last year, and international flights have only been allowed to land in Jakarta, the capital, and the city of Manado on the island of Sulawesi.
Indonesian Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno told reporters that reopening Bali airport to overseas flights would constitute a “trial opening of Bali for foreign tourists”, although he has not provided a timetable for their return. Domestic tourists are already allowed to visit.
Earlier, he said Indonesia was studying the example of Thailand’s “Phuket Sandbox”, which allows vaccinated foreign tourists who test negative for Covid-19 to roam freely around the island of Phuket.
Taufan Yudhistira, spokesperson for Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport, said the airport had not received specific instructions for reopening but had started preparing the international terminal and preparing health protocols.