Bali opening up to tourists THIS MONTH – but Australians denied

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Bali will reopen for some international travellers later in October, however, Australians won't be able to travel there just yet.

Indonesia will reopen the airport in Bali on October 14, after closing it for more than a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said international flights will resume, as long as travellers fulfil the quarantine and testing requirements.

All international visitors will have to quarantine for eight days at their own expense and arrivals must show proof of a hotel booking for quarantine.

Man cleaning beach chair on Bali beach. Source: EPA
Bali will reopen its international airport on October 14. Source: EPA

"We are open to several countries, including South Korea, China, Japan, United Arab Emirates and New Zealand," Pandjaitan said.

Tourism and Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno said Bali's reopening will focus on travellers and returning expatriates 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.

The government is still finalising some steps including lists of countries with direct flights to Bali.

However, at this stage, Australians are barred from entering.

The country's reopening and easing of social restrictions is being conducted in stages, Pandjaitan said, because Indonesia "doesn't want the unexpected to happen".

Indonesia hard hit by Covid pandemic

Indonesia has been among the countries worst hit by Covid-19 in Asia, officially recording more than 4 million cases and 142,000 deaths, although public health experts believe the true toll is far higher.

Daily case numbers peaked at more than 56,000 during the second wave in mid-July this year, however Indonesia is now recording just over 1100 cases per day.

 A sign recommends the use of PeduliLindungi App at the beach entrance in Kuta, Bali. Source: EPA
Tourists will have to quarantine at their own expense if they travel to Bali. Source: EPA

Health minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin previously said reopening Bali to foreign tourists could be on the cards when more than 70 per cent of the population on the island had at least one dose of a Covid vaccine.

However, the government signalled it would be willing to reopen the island to help revive Bali's economy.

Indonesia, Southeast Asia's biggest economy, exited its first recession in over two decades in the second quarter of this year, though a Covid-19 resurgence and ensuing social restrictions likely weighed on the recovery momentum.

with Reuters and AP

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