Indonesia to ease COVID restrictions in Bali but tighten border measures

Published on : Tuesday, September 14, 2021


Indonesia has decided to ease Covid-19 restrictions on the popular tourist island of Bali. However, international travellers will face stricter measures on arrival to help curb the spread of new variants, as per reports by senior minister son Monday, September 13.

Maritime and investment minister Luhut Panjaitan told a virtual conference that tourist spots in most parts of the island will now accept visitors but all visitors will have to adhere to strict protocols, such as proving their vaccination status on a government-verified phone app.

He also mentioned that the rapidly improving Covid-19 situation in Java and Bali has caused the PPKM level to decline faster than expected. He possibly referred to Indonesia’s system of social mobility restrictions.

The level of social mobility restrictions in Bali will now be evaluated weekly. International visitors will be required to undergo eight-day quarantine and take three polymerase chain reaction tests before they enter the island.

The minister mentioned that firm action would be taken against those who fail to abide by the restrictions but the nature of the penalties was not mentioned.  Later at the conference, health minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said that borders to the country would be tightened.

He mentioned that the government has decided to strengthen the country’s entry points, by equipping and tightening the quarantine process at sea, land and air as Indonesia would work towards strengthening the use of genome sequencing to quickly identify new variants of the COVID-19 virus.

Earlier this year, plans to reopen Bali were cancelled after the second wave of coronavirus hit the country driven by the highly infectious Delta variant. With more four million cases Indonesia suffered from one of the worst outbreaks of the coronavirus across Asia.

After peaking at more than 56,000 cases on July 15, the number of Covid-19 cases reported daily has dropped significantly in the past month. The country recorded fewer than 3,000 cases on Monday.

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