While we're all adjusting to the COVID-19 outbreak and our new lives inside, it's still so surreal that this is all happening. How are you guys doing? We hope you're all safe and healthy!
In the past weeks, we've been answering lots of e-mails and direct messages on Instagram from those in Bali or having planned to visit in the near future. There has been and still is lots of insecurity about what to do... especially because there isn't really a good website where you can find all the correct information that is specified for Bali. Step by step information is getting out and one thing that is for sure: staying home and social distancing is the most important thing to do to slow down the spread of this virus so basically: save lives!
For all of you who are still in uncertainty, check out our answers on the most frequently asked questions below. Is your question not in here or do you have any tips to share with us and all other readers? Please leave them in the comments.
We're keeping an eye on the news from local authorities and health experts to keep you in the loop! Also please note we are not an official authority so for urgent matters please contact your embassy or travel agent.
This article is an interesting read about coronavirus in Bali. Please bear in mind that these are all observations.
What is the current status in Bali?
As of today (29th of April), the official toll of Covid-19 cases in Bali is at 215, including 96 recoveries and 4 deaths. At the moment the authorities have requested to stay in until the 29th of May. Most cafes and restaurants in Canggu, Seminyak and around are closed, but a few are slowly opening up again. No activities are allowed and all of Bali's beaches are closed until the 29th of May. All airports in Indonesia have been closed as from today the 24th of April till the 1st of June.
As said before there isn't a website where to stay informed. Official reports come out late or don't say much about the current situation. There are government updates coming through via the news and we receive daily updates via Whatsapp from other local and expat friends. You do can check the Instagram account of Gubernur Bali for updates, however you have to translate the messages since its in Bahasa Indonesia.
At the moment people are more aware and informed about the importance of social distancing and staying home. It's extremely quiet at the island but most local communities around Canggu & Seminyak are still proceeding with their ceremonies and day to day (small)business.
The president has now ordered people venturing out of their house to always wear a mask to protect themselves and others.
What action are the government and local authorities taking to slow down the spread in Indonesia?
At the moment nobody isn't allowed to enter Bali. Indonesia has banned all air & sea travel until the 1st of June.
If you are in Bali already on a VOA (visa on arrival) or a Social / Business Visa and your visa will expire, you don't have to go to the immigration office to apply for a new visa. There are no fines and this is valid for foreigners who have entered Indonesia after the 5th of February 2020. This emergency stay permit is free of charge for now.
At the moment schools, big venues, beach clubs, gyms and spas in Bali are closed until further notice. We were informed that beach clubs like Potatohead are closed until the 1st of July 2020.
I have a trip to Bali this summer, do you think this is possible?
Nobody knows how long it will take until health organisations and authorities will advise on traveling again. At the moment tourists aren’t allowed to enter Bali until further notice, but it might be possible that Bali will open it's airport again for Chinese traveller to begin with this upcoming June.
I am in Bali right now, should I leave?
Embassy’s from all over the world have advised travellers to return to their home country asap.
The Dutch embassy has sent out a letter that they expect Indonesia not being enough prepared for the amount of infections and therefor not enough places in the hospitals to treat people the right way. Also each country is taking it's own measurements, and no one can predict if there will be abrupt travel restrictions. For instance, if there would be a suspension of all in-and outgoing flights to Indonesia, there will be thousands of tourists and foreigners who have no way to get to their home country. Not said that this will be the case for Indonesia but in some countries in the world this is happening.
Most travellers are ending their vacations in Bali early and return home. Also, we've seen expats with kids have left the island to their home countries. But also foreigners who've been in Bali for a long time have decided to stay for now.
Most people take into consideration that with this fast-moving spread worldwide hospitals are getting overwhelmed and the last thing you want it to be 'stuck' abroad when your health is at stake.
But on the other hand, a lot of health experts are questioning the fact that traveling back home is a big health risk too, and in most home countries hospitals face the same challenges unfortunately.
So we can't answer this one for you as this is totally depending on your current living and health situation. (Let us know what you've decided in the comments, share your experience with others!).
I am staying Bali, what measurements can I take to protect myself and others from the virus?
Health organisations predict that many of us will probably at some point contract the coronavirus. If you're young and healthy you'll be likely to only experience mild illness. But that doesn't mean it's not important to protect yourself. Because people at higher risk such as older people or people with health problems depend on your actions to stay safe.
Most measurements are globally the same. Whether you're living in Bali or you're on a holiday in Bali, these basic steps can help you reduce your risk of getting sick or infecting others.
- Stay home. Or inside your accommodation if you can. The Indonesian authorities have now requested everyone to stay in until the 30th of March. But we expect this will be the right thing to do for the upcoming months. Right now it is globally advised everyone should limit close contact, indoors and outdoors, to family members only. This means no social gatherings, no dinner dates at cafes or restaurants, no workout sessions in crowded gyms, no birthday parties with a few friends.
You are still allowed to go outside, as long as you avoid being in close contact with people.
- Stay clean. Wash your hands with soap. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds frequently, cover your nose and mouth when you cough. Don't touch surfaces that are likely to have someone else's touch or clean frequently (especially your phone and keys!). If you do have to go out, jump under the shower when you get home.
Alcohol-based hand sanitisers, which should be rubbed in for about 20 seconds, can also work, but the gel must contain at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Stay calm. Don't go hoarding groceries or stockpile masks. These are needed for medical health caretakers! If you do your groceries get them for the whole week for instance so you avoid a daily run to the store and you can keep your distance from people as much as possible.
- Stay healthy. Eat your fruits, veggies, drink lots of water, take vitamins (especially vitamin C and Zink are good for the immune system). And here in Bali it's even easier as you can still order fresh-pressed juices and ginger or turmeric shots at home for instance at Koncious Goods or Remix Juice(non-spon! These are our absolute faves).
Check yourself on signs of coronavirus infection, including fever, shortness of breath and coughing. Stay home if you experience any of these symptoms. Given that fever is a common symptom of coronavirus, it’s a good idea to take your temperature with a reliable thermometer.
What if I am in Bali and go get sick?
At Siloam hospital you can now get tested for Covid-19. They offer the test for 489.000 idr. If you're worried and have symptoms you can visit Siloam directly. Health care organisations say the following symptoms should prompt you to seek emergency treatment:
- Difficulty breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- Confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
- Any other symptom that is severe or concerning
We've noted down a few that we also mention in our Bali travel guides:
Bali Clinic, Seminyak
Jl. Laksmana / Oberoi no. 54, Seminyak
+62 361 733301 / 733302 / 7847902
Prime Plus Medical, Canggu
Jalan Subak Sari No. 90a
+62 812 373 871 31
Toya Medika Clinic Ubud
Jl. Raya Pengosekan, Ubud, Bali
+62 361 978 078
Siloam Hospital, Kuta
Jl. Sunset Road No.818, Kuta
+62 361 779900
BIMC Hospital, Nusa Dua
Kawasan ITDC Blok D, Benoa, Nusa Dua
+62 361 3000911
Kasih Ibu Hospital, Saba
Jl. Raya Pantai Saba No.9, Saba, Gianyar
+62 361 3003333
Kasih Ibu Hospital, Tabanan
Jl. Flamboyan No. 9, Kampung Kodok,Tabanan
+62 361 3005757
I have a trip to Bali planned soon, what to do?
Since almost all countries worldwide advised all citizens to not travel unless strictly necessary, we'd advice you to contact your flight company / travel agency what the status is of your flight. As answered above, at the moment tourists aren’t allowed to enter Bali. There are no visas on arrival available until further notice.
If I cancel my flight and accommodations will I get my money back?
If your flight takes place in April or May your travel agency or airplane company will most likely reach out and either offer you a voucher or money back. As many flights have been canceled automatically.
Will your flight depart later and you want to cancel upfront? It will depend on your travel agency and airplane company.
If you receive money back or a voucher from your Bali accommodation that also depends on your hotel or Airbnb. As we know Airbnb does return your money in full at the moment.
Are restaurants and shops in Bali still open?
No, lots of them have closed since Nyepi day and are either closed until further notice or are open for delivery only. We did notice that since this week a numerous cafe's in Seminyak and Canggu have opened their doors again with precautions. We made a list of some of our favorite restaurants that are currently offering a delivery service or are available on Go-Jek - check here! It's also a great way to keep supporting local businesses, as they will need all the help they can to survive this outbreak that obviously is also causing an economic disaster for the world and the island.
Are you staying in Bali?
Pris: me and Arnaud were in Bali during the outbreak and have decided to stay in Bali. It was a tough decision and we're still following the news and updates to react quick when needed. Eve: we are in Amsterdam right now and had planned to fly to Bali mid-April but have canceled our flights. I wouldn't want to take the risk with Manua. We hope we'll all be reunited soon somewhere in the world.
When can I travel to Bali again?
We hope very soon! Because that would mean the outbreak is under control! According to the regulations there's being said until at least June 2020 there won't be travel possible, but we absolutely don't know... some even say the world needs a pause from traveling till at least the end of this year. Let's hope not, we're mentally already hugging and squeezing each other and packing our suitcases to new tropical sunkissed places, how about you?
We read this beautiful quote the other day that we absolutely loved and gave us some peace.
TO TRAVEL TOMORROW, IS TO STAY HOME TODAY
Bali awaits and your adventures will be amazing.
In the meantime stay home, healthy and safe everyone and take care of yourself and others! Sending you all lots of sunshine, especially our heroes working in health care and those who are already dealing with sick loved ones or even loss. It's a tough time, keep your head up beautiful sunshine friends!
Leave a comment below if you're missing any questions or answers or if you want to contribute any information on this issue. Keep in touch with us on Instagram @welikebali!
Pris & Eve