You crave the sunny skies, tropical landscapes, and beautiful waters of Bali. Don't worry, we get it, and you aren't alone.
Since the Covid pandemic emerged, avid travellers from all over the world have been itching to get back out for an adventure that isn't restricted to their living room or grocery store.
It's been over a year since the pandemic started - so what's the situation like right now in Bali, and when will you be able to travel there again? Here is our May 2021 update.
Covid In Bali
Bali (and all of Indonesia) is handling their covid recovery particularly well considering their middle-income status and high population, with a 94% recovery rate. Visas and tourists were prevented from entering Bali on March 20th, 2020.
Due to their popularity and reliability on tourism, Bali suffered a great deal when Covid struck. In 2019 alone, around 6.3 million foreigners visited Bali, which then dropped to virtually none. This country depends a lot on tourism for everything.
Naturally, this situation has significantly impacted Bali's local economy. Fortunately, though, there may now be a silver lining.
Bali's local airlines are currently offering domestic flights that have ensured strict Covid protocols, such as social distancing within the air cabin and wearing a face mask.
So, yes, you can travel to Bali but ONLY if you are an Indonesian resident. The borders were open only to those travelling domestic. Unfortunately, if you are not a resident, the travel restrictions remain in place - international tourists cannot visit.
However, leading up to the eventual return of Bali to international travellers, some may be allowed to enter for their trial runs.
In addition to medical workers, transport crew members, volunteers, family, investors, and various other necessary persons, those with a B211B Visa may also be allowed to visit Bali.
This is a single-entry visa valid for 6 months that allows foreign nationals to enter Bali if it is industrial or business-related. Therefore, it is not acceptable as a tourist visa.
If you are a local, you can visit Bali by acquiring a PCR-based swab test and receive a negative rapid antigen test 2 days prior to your departure. You also need to follow the other strict protocols in place, including filling out an e-HAC, wearing a face mask, and social distancing.
With the increase of domestic travelling comes more revenue for the hotels and villas around. While it is still quiet in Bali due to the dramatic decline in tourism, it is steadily on the rise.
At this point, domestic travellers in Bali can still enjoy all Bali has to offer, with some Covid limitations in place. But fear not, those outside Bali from an international location may not have to wait too much longer.
The Indonesian president - Mr. Joko Widodo - stated that there is a chance Bali will reopen to international travellers around June or July 2021. This does depend on the Covid cases and could change based on their progress.
Alternatively, March 2022 is another possible date, along with a special vaccination program to allow foreign tourists to visit Ubud, Sanur, and Nusa Dua - the three "green zones." This is based on areas that have low infection rates and high vaccination doses.
If you want to visit these three green zones, you'll need the aforementioned negative PCR test and have to quarantine for 2 x 24 hours in one of these zones before moving around. Be mindful that this travel is not yet fully confirmed as we all eagerly await the reopening announcement.
Currently, many businesses and beaches are shut to the public in Bali, but with the continued successful progress of declining Covid cases and improved recovery rate, it won't be long before they open back up.
Those with an approved business visa, which can cost around 600-1000 USD, were allowed back into Bali on April 1st, 2021. This can be applied for online at the official immigration and embassy website. This particular visa is valid for 60 days but can be extended if necessary.
Always be sure to check the appropriate restrictions and quarantine measures in place before you jump ahead with Bali travel.
Furthermore, if you're planning on buying tickets in advance to visit Bali, be aware of the uncertainty surrounding this plan. We already know just how fast the Covid virus spread, and it can just as quickly return.
Some airlines are offering free changes to your tickets or cancellations based on Covid updates, so it's crucial to check these facts before making any firm decisions. We know you're excited, but we also don't want you to waste your money due to sudden changes!
Like most other countries, Bali has a similar system in place with safety measures to protect you and others against the virus, whether you are a local, domestic, or international traveller.
- Wearing a face mask outside of your home or private hotel room at all times.
- Social distancing from others to minimize close contact and risk of spreading the virus.
- Practicing good hygiene, such as washing your hands with soap for 20 seconds and refraining from touching surfaces where others may have spread germs.
- Being mindful about your health - eat a nutritious diet, drink plenty of water, and monitor your vitamin intake for an immunity boost (e.g. Vitamin C).
- Monitoring yourself and others for symptoms of the virus, such as a fever, shortness of breath, coughing, and a cold.
As much as we would all love to get on a plane flight tomorrow to visit Bali, this luxury is only possible for domestic travelers at this stage.
Keep your fingers crossed that the planned reopening date of July 2021 remains unaffected, or we could be waiting a while longer to visit this iconic destination.
But while you wait, there's no need to grow bored. There is an enormous amount of things to do in Bali; it can definitely seem overwhelming.
You can start your research now and plan out an entire itinerary for Bali. This way, when the time comes, you are fully prepared and ready to go when the reopening announcement is officially made!
Here is a starting point for your research:
- Iconic Bali beaches
- Popular restaurants, bars, & beach cafes
- Retail outlets & businesses (such as Bistro St Tropez)
- Festivals, parties, clubs
- Suitable accommodation
- Once-in-a-lifetime experiences
- Budget-friendly activities
- Transport methods
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