Bali is Partially Reopening on October 14

Travelers from selected countries such as China, Japan, and New Zealand will be able to visit once more.

Mount Agung, Bali’s highest peak, towering above a bay in Amed. (Photo: Pitua Sutanto/Unsplash)

One of Indonesia’s top officials has set a concrete date for the much-anticipated reopening of Bali to foreign tourists. At a virtual press conference on Monday, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the Coordinating Minister of Maritime and Investment Affairs, said the island’s Ngurah Rai International Airport would begin accepting international passenger flights on October 14.

It will be the first time the popular beach destination has welcomed scheduled non-cargo services from abroad since border restrictions were imposed at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Luhut added that Bali would be open to a handful of low-risk countries, specifically China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and the UAE. However, eligible travelers must quarantine for eight days at their own expense, and present confirmation of a hotel booking upon arrival. Indonesia’s central government has recently suggested that only fully vaccinated visitors would be allowed in, but no further details on vaccine and testing requirements have been released at this stage.

A planned reopening in July was postponed indefinitely as the Delta variant swept through the country, causing a devastating second wave that peaked at more than 56,000 new cases per day, although those numbers are widely considered a vast undercount. Senior officials in Jakarta have previously said that overseas tourists could return to Bali once 70 percent of the population had received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. According to the latest statistics from the health ministry, more than 77 percent of its 4.3 million residents have been partially vaccinated, while just under 63 percent are fully inoculated.

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