After several false dawns, Bali is finally reopening to foreign tourists from October 14.
Miss the plunging cliffs, friendly locals, gorgeous temples, relaxing day clubs, black sand beaches, surfing waves, terraced paddy fields, or even babi guling? Bali is reopening. But wait, there’s a catch, and enough of a hoop for them to ascertain that you really want to be there.
After 18 months of solitude, Bali is finally prepared to reopen in 2021 after an ongoing vaccination drive that has inoculated over 65 percent of the island’s population. Fenced off from international tourism since the onset of the pandemic, the Island of a Thousand Gods will reopen to foreign tourists from 14 October 2021.
Only inhabitants of selected countries – China, South Korea, Japan, the United Arab Emirates and New Zealand – will be admitted into Bali for the time being. There is a list of 18 countries, however, not all names have been revealed, as of writing. The criteria are based on low transmissivity and a positivity rate of under 5 percent.
Upon arrival, there is a five-day mandatory quarantine rule at accredited three- to five-star lodging, starting from US$60 (approx. S$81) nightly.
How is Bali doing it differently to Phuket and the Maldives? The Maldives requires no quarantine, while those who pass the PCR test in Phuket get to stay on the island for a week before they can journey on to other parts of Thailand after passing a second PCR test.
Prospective visitors to Bali will first be required to apply for 60-day business or social visas at Indonesian embassies in their country of residence. You must be fully vaccinated, present a negative PCR test result prior to departure and pass another on arrival. You must also download the Indonesian contact tracing app and be insured with Covid-19 treatment coverage of at least US$100,000.
On the final day of quarantine, you will also undergo another PCR test. Upon passing, you are free to travel. Otherwise, you will be escorted to a private care centre for further treatment.
If you hated hordes of pimply, reckless travellers clogging up the island on wheezing mopeds, this might be the best time to retrace the halcyon days of the rustic, mystical Bali – as opposed to the over-consumed Instagram feed icon we have acquainted with. And that might just make all troubles you have to go through worthwhile. Not to mention, enticing discounts you can get at top-end accommodations that were seemingly out of reach before the pandemic struck.
The locals have missed your presence dearly.
Hero and feature images by Ayana Resort