Bali opening 1st of December? November update on COVID-19 in Bali

November 11, 2020

Bali opening 1st of December? November update on COVID-19 in Bali

Last month we wrote our October update on Covid-19 in Bali, while keeping you posted on our Instagram stories whenever there's news. 

While Bali is still trying to get through this pandemic, until international tourism is allowed again - there seems to be a sparkle of hope closer on the horizon than we all thought. News is circulating on Social Media that Bali is opening up its borders for foreign tourism 1rst of December (instead of January 2021 as stated before). This however is not verified by officials, and many speculate that this might be for a certain number of countries. We hope to hear the official information soon and confirm with you what's happening!

Meanwhile domestic travel has seen the first peak in traveling to Bali. Which is great for the locals and local businesses. But most people in Bali are still struggling to make ends meet - with more than 80% of the people working in the tourism industry this is a time of crisis. 

As you know we're currently working on a new product to raise funds for Nasi Bungkus Tetangga to distribute food to the people in need. Great news: we're launching the pre-order THIS WEEKEND! Read a little update here to see more and stay tuned on our Instagram.

Want to know how to help in the meantime? Have a look at our article here how to support local initiatives in Bali during Covid.

And although things are uncertain, getting excited to plan your next trip to Bali? Read our new post on Why this is the perfect time to plan your 2021 Bali trip!

INFORMATION FROM OUR OCTOBER POST:

We have gathered all up to date Bali Corona information to try to inform you as good as possible - and if there's anything you've missed let us know in the comments.

Please note we are not an official authority, so please contact your local embassy or airline for more information.  

Is Bali in lockdown?

Bali is currently not in lockdown. People in Bali are allowed outside the house and beaches and public spaces are open. Borders are open for domestic travel and foreigners with specific visa (read more below).

What is the current status in Bali?

Indonesia has been closed for international travel since April 2020. That means currently no foreigners have been allowed to enter or transit in Bali on tourist visa. Recently new rules have applied which makes it possible for international travelers to access Bali when they arrange a social- or business visa before arrival (see more below).

Indonesian citizens can travel within Indonesia, with the required documents and a Health Certificate with a COVID-19 free result (for specific information on these documents check here).

In terms of Covid statistics please check this official website for current Bali Covid updates.

When will Bali re-open its borders for international tourism?

Indonesia has first announced that Bali would be open again for foreigners September 1. But after rising Coronavirus cases in Indonesia it has been pushed forward to January 2021. No official exact date has been released - and right now news is circulating that this date will be changed to December 1st. Not celebrating yet, this information is not official!  

However – borders are currently not completely ‘closed’ for foreigners, because with the right visa you can actually enter Bali.

Can you enter as a foreigner with another type of visa?

It has been a bit out in the open in the last weeks but entering Bali seems possible with a few specific type of visas that you can apply for. Foreigners with a kitas (the official working permit) have been able to access Indonesia throughout this whole time. However, this is now also possible with a temporary business visa. Which makes it possible for you to stay a maximum time of 6 months in Bali without needing to leave the country.

Hotels and businesses are actually starting to campaign to promote this way of entering Bali. It seems it is a legit way to travel to Bali and spend your time during Covid under the Bali sun – however noted to do so in all respect and consciousness for the locals and environment, within all safety and health protocols. 

Please note that this isn't been made official by the government but has been communicated by several visa agents and foreign people have been able to enter Indonesia this way. We advise you to contact your local embassy, visa agent or airline for more information.    

How does that work?

  1. You need a visa agency in Bali. If you don’t have one, you can check through hotels that you’re planning to stay at if they can arrange a reliable contact for you. Up until now you needed to apply for these visas through your local Indonesian Embassy but now this process can be done online with your visa agency.

  2. The visa agent will get you a sponsor (which you need for a social or business visa), an official application form and when necessary support with other documents that you need for your flight. For the business visa the process is a bit more complicated because you need to arrange more official documents.

  3. On arrival in Bali most of these agencies will provide a service that guides you through immigrations and customs personally. That means they will be waiting for you at the gate and walk with you to make sure everything goes smoothly as arranged.

  4. This visa will cost you around 5 million IDR for a social visa (and you will need to pay extension fees with your local visa agency in Bali throughout the six months that your social visa is valid). For a business visa it’s an average of 10 million IDR one-time fee and after that you'll need to pay renewal fees. Instead of the usual 2 months stay you can currently extend it up to 6 months without leaving the country. You will need to pay directly to the visa agency (upfront).

  5. On arrival you will need to self-quarantine at your home, villa or hotel.

Please carefully note that information changes quickly and that we are not an official authority, so please contact your local embassy or visa agent for more information and up to date prices.  

I’m still in Bali on tourist visa, when do I need to leave the country?

For all foreigners who were in Bali during the period of borders closing, Indonesia has been providing free extension for tourist visas. So that means usually after 30 or 60 days they would have needed to leave the country, but due to the pandemic overstay is allowed and free of charge. For those who came to Bali with Visa on Arrival now need to extend their visa every month until more information about Covid-19 travel regulations by the government. The extension can be done with a local visa agency at the immigration office in Denpasar (you need to schedule your visit online).

Are restaurants, spa's and beaches open?

Some places and local businesses are closed, because they simply do not have customers. But also lots of venues in Bali are open at the moment. Everywhere you’ll need to follow the safety regulations and health protocols. That means you’ll need to wear a face mask outside your home / hotel room and in all public spaces. When you’re at a restaurant you can take your mask off when eating – and when you’re on the beach you only need to wear it when ‘walking’. Local police is handing out fines for those who are not wearing face masks, so please wear them!

How is life in Bali right now?

For the people in Bali who are currently unemployed or struggling to make ends meet with their local business (80% of the population depends on the millions of tourists arriving no the island each year!) life is incredibly tough right now. Most rely on food supplies provided by their local communities and charity projects.

That’s the most important reason why hospitality- and hotel businesses are already actively promoting towards domestic and international travelers to visit Bali (so for foreign travelers to do so by arranging a social visa).

If you want to know it in the way if the island is and will still attractive enough to travel to? Yes. Absolutely. Friends in Bali are feeling blessed that they can experience a Bali like it hasn’t been in a while: quiet beaches, empty line ups and no traffic jams. And locals get a glimpse of the ‘old days’ when it wasn’t as hectic as it has been the past years.

Read out post here on Why this is the perfect time to plan your 2021 Bali trip!

However, the island needs tourism to revive and hopefully soon Bali will bounce back. So for the people in Bali it will be important that people will travel to Bali once borders re-open (or for more people to come and stay in Bali now on social visa) and of course also that they respect local health rules and regulations to keep the country safe from Covid.

Where can I do a Covid test in Bali?

Siloam Hospital in Denpasar or Siloam clinics.

Where can I find official updates of Corona in Bali?

Here on the government website from Indonesia.

When can we travel to Bali again?

So the answer is actually that you can already right now. If you’re ok to self-quarantine on arrival and to go through the process of arranging your visa with a Balinese visa agency. If you’d rather wait than you can start traveling to Bali again when borders officially open again.

Is it safe to book tickets for 2021?

It looks like international travel to Indonesia will be possible again from January 2021. However, we all know this pandemic makes everything uncertain right now, so of course things might change again. Some airlines are responding to this by offering free of charge option to change your flight dates after booking.

For instance, Garuda Airlines lets you reschedule or reroute your flight without any rebooking fee. Or if you haven’t decided on your new travel dates you can extend your ticket validity until December 2021.

So if you are planning a trip and you’re finding a good rate we would say to definitely book your tickets.

I am in Bali right now or going soon, what measurements can I take to protect myself and others from the virus?

Most measurements are globally the same. Whether you’re in Bali these basic steps can help you reduce your risk of getting sick or infecting others.

- Wear your face mask. Wear them outside, on the motorbike, in your hotel (accept in your room of course), in public spaces, when entering a restaurant (you can take them off when eating), when walking on the beach (you can take them off when on one spot).

– Keep your distance. Right now it is globally advised everyone should limit close contact, indoors and outdoors. So please no parties, gatherings and keep your distance when you’re in public spaces.

– Stay clean. Wash your hands with soap. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds frequently. Don’t touch surfaces that are likely to have someone else’s touch or clean frequently (especially your phone and keys!). Alcohol-based hand sanitizers, 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. Visit supermarkets and stores outside peak hours.

– 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 

Check yourself on signs of coronavirus infection, including symptons of having a cold, fever, shortness of breath and coughing. Stay home if you experience any of these symptoms or book a Covid-test at Siloam Hospital in Denpasar. 


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