Bali officials have confirmed that vaccinated domestic travelers still need to present proof of a negative Covid-19 test to gain entry into the island. As there is no evidence of the vaccine stopping virus transmission, Bali aims to test all travelers, regardless of vaccination status, to control the spread of the pandemic. This will also apply when the borders do reopen to international travelers.
The Head of Bali Health Agency, Dr. Ketut Suarjaya addressed this issue, as many people questioned the policy thinking they would not need to test once being injected.
“So, to distinguish that this vaccination is actually an attempt to provide immunity to the body, but the virus can still enter. If people who have been vaccinated are exposed to Covid-19, the transmission is likely to be three times less, and if the virus enters it will usually be less symptomatic, lighter than people who are not vaccinated,” Dr. Suarjaya said on Thursday (18/3).
He also explained that people still need to be tested prior to their departure as an entry requirement to visit Bali island. “These tests are required as a prevention step from the government to avoid transmission, as they’re more likely to be the carriers of the virus without any symptoms and create a transmission while visiting the island” Suarjaya added.
Meanwhile, Suarjaya is now still waiting for another vaccine supply from the central government to continue the vaccination program in three prioritized areas in Bali such as Ubud, Nusa Dua, and Sanur.
Additionally, he also said that Bali is expected to receive 340 thousand doses of Covid-19 vaccines in near future. “The second phase of vaccine distribution is still on while we’re waiting for another 340 doses of vaccines, so the process can simultaneously run with 12,000 people vaccinated each day on average” Suarjaya concluded.
The vaccination program in Bali has been receiving a good response. Many people are enthusiastic to get vaccinated in support of the government’s plan to reopen the border when herd immunity is achieved.