Bali now open to tourists from 19 countries

Jakarta (CNN) – The Indonesian islands of Bali and Riau reopen to visitors from 19 countries starting Thursday, according to the country’s maritime affairs and investment minister, Luhut Binsar Panjaitan.

“We have given permission to 19 countries to travel to Bali and the Riau Islands,” Luhut announced Wednesday at a meeting in Jakarta.

The countries are: China, India, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Liechtenstein, Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Poland, Hungary and Norway.

The United States is not yet on the approved list.

Tourist visas must be obtained in advance.

The countries were chosen based on data showing low positivity rates, Luhut said.

Country travelers can enter the islands of Bali and Riau as long as they meet the requirements before and upon arrival, Luhut said.

Eligible travelers must be fully vaccinated with a second vaccine taken at least 14 days prior to travel to Indonesia, have Covid-19 treatment insurance coverage worth at least US $ 100,000, and pay for their own accommodation during a five-month quarantine period days.

“One of the reasons for the optimism behind Bali’s readiness was due to the fact that vaccination against Covid-19 reached 99 percent for the first dose and 90 percent for the second dose,” the special staff for managing the crisis of the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, Henky Hotma P. Manurung, said, according to a report by the state news agency Antara.

Luhut added that the reopening will be evaluated periodically and that “this list of 19 countries specifically applies only to direct flights to Bali and the Riau Islands”.

He hoped the implementation would stimulate Bali’s tourism-dependent economy. It is estimated that 54% of the island’s income comes from the tourism industry.

Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport (DPS) in Denpasar is ready to welcome international arrivals on Thursday, Taufan Yudhistira, head of stakeholder relations at Ngurah Rai International Airport Authority, told CNN.

However, no international flights are yet planned to land there, Yudhistira said.

Ngurah Rai Airport in Bali, Indonesia photo by AP / Firdia Lisnawati

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