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Bali Tentatively Welcomes Back International Tourists

Resumption of flights comes as the archipelago loosens quarantine rules despite a surge in Covid-19 cases fuelled by the Omicron variant

Bali tourism
For most of the pandemic period, Indonesia has required all foreigners to secure a visa before leaving their country of origin. Photo: AFP.


Bali began a tentative re-opening to foreign tourists on Wednesday with the first international passenger flight to the Indonesian holiday island in nearly two years.

The resumption of flights comes as the Southeast Asian archipelago loosens quarantine rules despite a surge in Covid-19 cases fuelled by the Omicron variant.

A Singapore Airlines plane carrying 109 international travellers and 47 Indonesians landed in Bali on Wednesday, the island province’s governor, Wayan Koster, said.

The foreign visitors must stay in a quarantine bubble at one of 27 designated hotels for three to seven days, depending on the number of vaccine doses received, according to new nationwide rules published on Wednesday.

“I hope that in early March, there will be no more quarantine obligation for tourists as long as they comply with health protocol requirements and show negative test results on departure and arrival,” the governor said.


Daily Flights from Singapore

Singapore Airlines said it will operate daily flights between the city-state and Bali to meet “good demand”.

Other airlines including Australia-based Jetstar Airways could resume flights to the holiday hotspot as early as next month, Bali’s governor added.

“We are aware of the increasing and fluctuating Omicron variant cases, but as long as we are strictly implementing health protocols, we should not be worried,” said Bali Hotel and Restaurant Association chair Rai Wijaya.

Bali authorities trialled a limited re-opening in October for a group of select countries but the response was tepid due to strict quarantine requirements and the absence of direct flights.

Indonesia reported a record number of new coronavirus cases on Tuesday. Daily infections topped 57,000, according to the government’s Covid-19 task force, surpassing the previous peak in July last year during the country’s Delta wave.

Elsewhere in the region, the Philippines re-opened for international tourism last week while Vietnam is planning to welcome back foreign tourists from March 15.


  • AFP, with additional editing by George Russell




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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.


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