As the world begins rolling out vaccines, countries are slowly opening their borders. One destination travelers could be returning to is Bali, which plans to reopen for tourism from as soon as next month. Let’s find out more about this possible reopening.
After over a year without international tourists, Bali could be reopening its border very soon. According to a statement by Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo, seen in News.com.au, the country plans to partially reopen its border in July, with Bali being one of three regions being targeted for a major tourism recovery.
Bali, Bintan, and Batam will be the first three locations reopening to international visitors. However, the Indonesian government has not announced the criteria for entry, including if vaccines will be mandatory, what quarantine requirements will be in place, and other border measures.
Things are also not as straightforward as they seem. With less than a month to go, Indonesia is yet to announce entry guidelines. Moreover, the country has been the worst hit by COVID-19 in East Asia, recording 1.85 million cases. As cases rise once again, the planned reopening could be stopped.
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Not the first time
While many might be excited by the news of Bali reopening, there could be hurdles. In September, Indonesia presented similar plans to reopen its border to international tourists. However, the plan was eventually scrapped due to rising cases globally and in the country itself.
July’s reopening could be hit by concerns of rising cases once again, reducing the chances of tourists returning in droves. However, the government has been taking steps to reduce the chances of an outbreak. The country has vaccinated its tourism-facing staff on priority to ensure a safe reopening.
The Tourism Ministry has recently said,
“In preparation, the government has carried out a widespread vaccination program for targeted groups, including the tourism workforce…In addition, the government has also initiated the Cleanliness, Health, Safety, and Environmental Sustainability certification program throughout the tourism sector in Indonesia.”
However, they added that the reopening is subject to “if the pandemic is handled as well as expected.” For now, it’s unclear if this has been achieved.
As Indonesia plans its own reopening, it can look to neighboring Thailand for a roadmap. Thailand is kicking off the ‘Phuket Sandbox‘ next month, reopening the province to international vaccinated tourists without a quarantine. Airlines can only fly directly into Phuket and travelers will be tested to prevent infections from cropping up.
If the Phuket Sandbox is successful, Bali and other destinations might adopt similar protocols in the future. With the reopening set for July, Indonesia does not have much time to decide its final plans for international tourism return.
What do you think about Bali’s border reopening? Let us know in the comments!