Indonesia opens Bali, Riau to foreign tourists

JAKARTA, 14 Oct 2021:

Indonesian authorities today opened the popular tourist islands of Bali and Riau to fully vaccinated international travellers from an initial list of 19 countries – without the need to quarantine, but without any direct flights available to these destinations at the moment.

The measure, similar to those announced by other countries in the region – including Thailand and Singapore – includes travellers from China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Spain, Italy, France and Sweden, among others, while leaving out the US.

The spokesperson for the Indonesian airport operator Angkasa Pura, Taufan Yudhistira, confirmed there are no international flights to Bali at the moment but that they may start operating next week.

The Hang Nadim International Airport, located in Batam on Riau Islands, also does not have international flights listed on its website.

Foreign tourists can travel to these islands via Jakarta, where they will have to undergo a five-day quarantine at a designated hotel.

Coordinating minister for maritime affairs and investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said at a press conference yesterday the countries on the list have been selected due to their low level of infections and specified the quarantine “does not only apply in Bali or Riau Islands.”

Luhut added that tourists from any country can enter Indonesia as long as they undergo the five-day quarantine and are vaccinated.

All those entering Indonesia must also have a negative PCR test result.

Thailand, which opened the islands of Phuket and Samui to fully vaccinated visitors in July, announced on Monday that it will open its borders to vaccinated travellers from a list of 10 “low risk” countries.

Countries on the list include the UK, China, Germany and the US.

From December, the Thai authorities will allow the reopening of entertainment venues as well as the sale of alcohol in bars and restaurants, which is currently banned.

Singapore, which has vaccinated more than 80% of its population, will allow the quarantine-free entry of vaccinated tourists from eight countries, including Spain, the US, the UK, France and Italy, from Oct 18. Visitors from South Korea will also be allowed from Nov 15.

Some Southeast Asian countries, hit hard this year by a wave of the highly infectious delta variant of the coronavirus, have begun to open their economies to ease the impact of the pandemic on companies and citizens.