Bali to reopen to international flights

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Indonesia plans to reopen the airport in the resort island of Bali for international flights on October 14, after closing it for more than a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said Monday the airport will open to international flights as long as it fulfills requirements for quarantine and testing.

International arrivals must show proof of hotel bookings for a mandatory eight-day quarantine.

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

Indonesia, the world's fourth-most populous country, has recorded more than 4.2 million COVID-19 cases with 142,261 deaths, but infections have decreased in the last few weeks after peaking in mid-July.

Tourism and Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno said Bali's reopening will focus on travellers and returning expatriates who used to live in Bali.

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

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