October update on COVID-19 in Bali
It's been a while since we wrote an update about the Coronavirus in Bali (here's the first one we made in March). We've been keeping you posted through our Instagram stories, as things are rapidly changing - regarding new rules and regulations and news about domestic and international travel. Its undeniable Corona is having a massive impact on the lives of the people in Bali, especially since borders have been closed for international tourism since April 2020 and aren't opening till January 2021. With more than 80% of the population depending on tourism, the current situation is leaving them struggling .
Have a look at our article here how to support local initiatives in Bali during Covid!
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.
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 social (family)- and 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?
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 ageny 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.
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 starveling to Bali again January 2021.
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.