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Bali re-opens to vaccinated foreign arrivals following lifting of quarantine

Maya Taylor

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FILE PHOTO: Flickr/Graham

The Indonesian island of Bali has welcomed its first international tourists after dropping a mandatory quarantine requirement. As Covid-19 cases in the country continue to drop, officials are easing entry restrictions, hoping to welcome back the tourists who visited in their millions, pre-pandemic.

According to a Reuters report, the island welcomed 6.2 million overseas visitors in 2019. Bali first re-opened to foreign tourists in October 2021, but few came, put off by onerous restrictions, including the need to quarantine for several days. This latest re-opening is a pilot scheme that has waived the 3-day quarantine period for fully vaccinated arrivals, although they must remain on Bali for 4 days.

Jesse Rayman, a 22-year-old visitor from the Netherlands was one of the tourists to land at the island’s airport yesterday for the first day of re-opening.

“I think it’s good for the island. I hope everyone is able to travel safely in the future, and coronavirus wouldn’t be much an issue anymore.”

Tourism is vital for Bali, accounting for more than 50% of the island’s economy. Most islanders have been severely affected by the fallout from the pandemic and are desperate to see the return of overseas holidaymakers. All eyes are on other Asian countries such as the Philippines, where entry restrictions have already been lifted for vaccinated arrivals.

Reuters reports that a government official who oversees the pandemic response on the islands of Java and Bali, is hopeful that if the pilot programme goes well on Bali, it could be extended to all foreign arrivals elsewhere in the country from April 1 or potentially earlier.

SOURCE: Reuters

 

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