Indonesia’s holiday island of Bali will start welcoming back travelers from all countries from later this week, more than three months after announcing it was open to selected nationalities.
Though Bali officially opened to visitors from China, New Zealand, and Japan among other countries in mid-October, tourism minister Sandiaga Uno told a briefing there has since been no direct flights.
The reopening follows similar announcements by Thailand and the Philippines, which put quarantine waivers on hold in December over initial uncertainty about vaccine efficacy against the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
The decision comes amid a steady rise in Indonesia’s COVID cases this month, despite having brought outbreaks under control in the second half of last year. Health authorities have attributed the increase to Omicron.
Known for its surfing, temples, waterfalls and nightlife, Bali drew 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% of its economy.
Singapore Airlines said on Friday it would resume flights to Bali from Singapore starting on February 16.
Senior minister LuhutPandjaitan said that from February 4, international visitors who are vaccinated against COVID-19 would still be required to enter between five and seven days of quarantine.
Last week, Indonesia opened two islands close to Singapore to visitors from the city-state. (NNT)