Indonesia will reopen the resort island of Bali to select international travelers next week, a senior minister said, after the pandemic starved the leisure hotspot of one of its primary sources of income.
The island’s Ngura Rai International Airport will be open to international travelers from South Korea, China, Japan, the United Arab Emirates and New Zealand from October 14, Maritime and Investment Minister Luhut Panjaitan told a news conference.
However, Australia is not involved in the partial reopening – a major source of tourists before the pandemic.
“Ngurah Rai Airport in Bali will open internationally on October 14, 2021, as long as it meets the provisions and requirements for quarantine, COVID-19 tests and task force readiness,” Panjaitan said.
He did not elaborate on whether tourists would be eligible to visit the island or only those with a residence permit could visit.
All international travelers must provide proof of a booked hotel for at least eight days of quarantine at their own expense, but it is not clear what other restrictions may apply after that.
Indonesia was ravaged by the highly contagious Delta version of the virus and in mid-July, it recorded more than 56,000 new Covid cases in just one day.
The government announced emergency restrictions in the hardest-hit areas, closing non-essential businesses and limiting the movement of people.
Bali’s tourism-dependent economy has also been hit hard by the pandemic as millions of visitors disappeared from the palm-fringed island.
But the case count is now falling as the government ramps up vaccinations, with 922 new Covid-19 cases and 88 deaths reported in the country on Monday.
Authorities continue to ease restrictions as the country sees a decrease in daily confirmed Covid cases and deaths, including in Bali.
Malls, cinemas and offices have started reopening at reduced capacity in most cities and some schools have started partially offline education.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)