Jakarta – The government has cut the quarantine time for foreigners to five days, from eight previously, as it started allowing foreign tourists to visit Bali and Riau Island on Thursday.
The decision came as the country seeks to reinvigorate the tourism industry after nearly two years of hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Under the latest circular from the Covid-19 Handling Task Force, the foreigners willing to visit Indonesia must comply with several requirements.
First, they must get complete vaccine doses against Covid-19 at least 14 days before departure and bring their vaccine certificate written in English when arriving at the airports.
Second, the tourists must bring a negative result of the RT-PCR test taken in the past 72 hours.
Lastly, the tourist also had to bring a Short Visit Visa or other valid entry permits, proof of ownership of $100,000 insurance covering Covid-19, and booking accommodation while staying in Indonesia.
"The goal is to monitor, control, and evaluate to prevent an increase in the transmission of Covid-19," Lt. Gen. Ganip Warsito, the head of Covid-19 Handling Task Force, said in a statement on Thursday.
Minister of Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Panjaitan said earlier that visitors from 19 countries, which have a low risk of Covid-19 spread, can travel to Bali and the Riau Islands.
The countries are Bahrain, China, France, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, and Norway.
The decision to reduce quarantine time came as the country is looking to host several world-class events later this year, including the World Superbike in Mandalika, West Nusa Tenggara in November.
Hotel and restaurant operators in Bali have been eager to welcome back tourists to the island after more than a year of hiatus.
I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, the country's main tourist attraction, closed off for more than a year. Data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) showed only 35 foreigners arrived at the airport from January to August this year. Before the pandemic in 2019, the airport welcomed more than 4 million foreigners during the eight months.
Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati, Bali's deputy governor, said all the tourism stakeholders in the island had made careful preparation for the reopening. Oka said 35 quarantine hotels were ready, with another 55 hotels that had volunteered to become ones.
The vaccination rate in Bali is also high, with 99 percent of people 12 years old or above have received their first dose of vaccine. More than 82 percent already get their second dose, the second-highest vaccination rate in Indonesia after Jakarta. Riau Island came in third place, with 87 percent of people in the province getting the first dose and 62 percent the second.
Oka said the high level of vaccination, coupled with discipline implementation of health protocol, allowed nearly all regions in Bali would be accessible to tourists. "We hope we can provide wider space for foreign tourists who have completed their 5-day quarantine," he said.