Bali is Open to International tourists: Here’s all you need to know about visas, quarantine and PCR testing
Want to travel back to Bali? Indonesia has re-opened its international borders to foreign tourists, providing they hold a valid visa and show proof of vaccination. No quarantine or PCR required!
Ever since the Coronavirus pandemic forced Indonesia to close its borders back in March 2020, all eyes were on the government to see when (and how) the Bali borders would re-open to international travellers. Well, Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport has now reopened, and to top it all off, Visas On Arrival have been reinstated for certain foreign travellers. For all other nationalities, the B211 Tourism Visit Visas are also available for stays of up to 6 months, and quarantine is no longer required for fully-vaccinated travellers (but you can stay in a CHSE approved hotel if you want the best in cleanliness, health and safety!).
But before you jump on a flight, there are a few things to take note of. For starters, all foreign arrivals must show proof of complete vaccination (either two doses or a booster), all international visitors must also hold a valid visa (like the Visa On Arrival or the B211 Tourism Visit Visa), and all arrivals must have travel insurance that covers Covid-related emergencies. Confused? Here’s all you need to know…
From scrapping quarantine and PCRs, to reinstating Visas On Arrival for certain nationalities, travelling to Indonesia (and Bali) is getting easier and easier by the day. But there are some requirements and travel regulations you need to take note of…
1. QUARANTINE & PCR TESTING
Both quarantine and PCR testing is no longer required for fully vaccinated travellers (either 2 or 3 doses) travelling to Indonesia. This applies to all international travellers arriving at any port of entry, whether it’s Bali, Jakarta, or any other international airport in Indonesia.
2. VISAS ON ARRIVAL
All international airports in Indonesia have now reinstated Visas on Arrival (VOA) for 86 nationalities. Visas on Arrival are priced at IDR 500,000 and are valid for 30 days, with the possibility to extend once for a further 30 days.
The 86 nationalities eligible for the Visa On Arrival are:
Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Colombia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Laos, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Palestine, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor Leste, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA, Uzbekistan, Vatican and Vietnam.
Travellers who hold a passport that is not eligible for the Visa On Arrival will need to pre-apply for the B211 Tourism Visa instead.
3. VISA-FREE TRAVEL FOR ASEAN COUNTRIES
For citizens of ASEAN countries, travelling to Indonesia does not require any visa at all! This free-visa is valid for 30 days only and is non-extendable.
The nationalities eligible for Visa-Free travel are: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Travellers who wish to stay longer than 30 days will need to pre-apply for the B211 Tourism Visa, or purchase the Visa On Arrival, if eligible.
4. PRE-FLIGHT CHECKLIST
1. Make sure you are fully vaccinated (two doses OR a booster) more than 14 days prior to arrival into Indonesia.
2. Get your documents in order: you’ll need the right visa (either a pre-applied B211 visa or a Visa On Arrival, if eligible), you’ll need at least 6 months validity left on your passport, and you’ll need a booked flight leaving Indonesia within your visa validity.
3. Download the PeduliLindungi app. At check-in, you’ll need to show that this is downloaded on your phone.
4. Print all of your documents (it makes everything so much easier!). This means your vaccination certificate, your visa (if applicable) and your return flight details.
5. BALI ARRIVAL PROCESS
1. After disembarking from the aircraft, travellers with a pre-booked B211 Visa can proceed to the relevant immigration desks. For travellers eligible for the Visa On Arrival, head to the Visa On Arrival payment desk to purchase your 30-day visa (IDR 500,000).
2. All international travellers will then be required to show the following:
– An onward flight leaving Indonesia within the visa’s validity period.
– A valid visa (like the B211, the free visa or the Visa On Arrival, if eligible).
– The PeduliLindungi App downloaded on your phone.
3. If all documents are in order, all international arrivals are then free to leave the airport and travel around Bali (or other islands in Indonesia!) as normal.
A brief overview on how Bali re-opened for tourism
Back in July 2020, Bali’s Governor, I Wayan Koster, instated a gradual Three-Phase Reopening Plan to open Bali’s borders to international travel. The third and final phase is now well underway, but it a took a while to get here. As part of Koster’s reopening plan, first local attractions and public places reopened, then domestic travel restarted, and most recently, international travellers can now travel to Indonesia, providing they are fully vaccinated, they hold a valid visa (like the Visa On Arrival or the B211 Visit Visa) and all travellers (both domestic and international) must follow all stipulated safety protocols.
Here’s how the re-opening plan was rolled out: Phase One of Reopening
The first phase of reopening began on July 9th, 2020, aimed predominantly at the reopening of local businesses and trades. Phase 1 allowed the operation of local businesses, venues and commerce, including health services, restaurants, government offices, customs, local and traditional markets, transportation, agriculture and places of worship, to name just a few. Tourism attractions, however, remained closed until Phase 2
Phase Two of Reopening
The second phase of reopening began on July 31st 2020. In Phase 2, Bali reopened the island to all domestic tourists, including tourism attractions, such as waterfalls, temples, beaches and places of interest, as well as tourism activities and tours. This meant that Indonesian tourists (and foreigners that remained in Indonesia) were able to travel and explore Bali for the purpose of tourism. Domestic travel around all Indonesian islands was also reinstated, with required documentation such as negative PCR/Antigen tests and proof of at least one vaccination dose.
Phase Three of Reopening
The third and final phase of reopening has now begun, which started on October 14th 2021 with the reopening of Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport to international travellers. As of February 3rd 2022, the first international flight landed on the island, and Visas On Arrival were also reinstated to certain nationalities. Fully vaccinated international visitors can now travel to Indonesia, providing they hold a valid visa (like the Visa On Arrival or the B211 Tourism Visit Visa). Travel rules and visa requirements may change and loosen further if this trial of Phase Three proves both successful and safe.
While we are VERY excited that Bali’s borders have now reopened, we do have to consider the fact that plans could change again, and the borders could tighten once more if Phase Three of Reopening proves unsuccessful. After all, it’s not the first time we’ve has a postponed reopening…
However, despite past lockdowns and delays in reopening Indonesia’s international borders, the Central Government strongly supports Bali’s plans to fully open and restore tourism. As long as this international reopening proves successful (and community cases remain low), this could be the start of a very bright (and sunny!) future for Bali’s tourism restoration.