Holiday island Bali to reopen to foreign travellers

Indonesia has passed laws punishing sex before marriage with imprisonment – in a move that is likely to spark alarm for tourists.

Indonesia has passed laws punishing sex before marriage with imprisonment – in a move that is likely to spark alarm for tourists. Photo: EPA

Indonesia’s holiday island of Bali will start welcoming back travellers from all countries – including Australia – within days.

The change comes more than three months after the Indonesian holiday island announced it was was open to selected nationalities, including travellers from China, New Zealand and Japan.

But, although Bali officially opened to some visitors from mid-October, there were yet to be any direct flights, Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno told a briefing on Monday.

Friday’s reopening to all overseas travellers follows similar announcements by Thailand and the Philippines, which put quarantine waivers on hold in December amid initial uncertainty about the efficacy of vaccines against the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The Bali decision comes despite a steady rise in Indonesia’s COVID-19 cases this month, and after the island brought outbreaks under control in the second half of last year. Health authorities have attributed the latest increase to Omicron.

Known for its surfing, temples, waterfalls and nightlife, Bali had 6.2 million foreign visitors in 2019, the year before COVID-19 struck. But tight pandemic border restrictions devastated tourism, which is usually worth 54 per cent of its economy.

Singapore Airlines said late last week it would resume flights to Bali from Singapore from February 16.

Senior minister Luhut Pandjaitan said that from February 4 international visitors who were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 would still be required to do five days in quarantine – down from seven. Those who have had only one virus shot will still have to do a week in quarantine.

Last week, Indonesia opened two islands close to Singapore to visitors from the city-state.

According to Ida Ayu Indah Yustikarini, an official at the Bali Government Tourism Office, the island has received some foreign visitors in the past few months via the capital Jakarta. No official numbers were available.

-with AAP

Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter.
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.