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Indonesia Removes Testing For International Arrivals Including Bali

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President of Indonesia Joko Widodo has announced a removal of the outdoor mask mandate and pre arrival testing for international travelers. This including the popular island paradise of Bali. The announcement was made in a press conference broadcast to the nation from the Presendital Palace in Bogor, West Java, on Tuesday 17th May. 

Jokowi shared how the decision had been made based on an assessment of evidence from across Indonesia that suggested that the Covid-19 pandemic is under control. He emphasized how despite heading in the right direction that person’s responsibility must be exercised. He urged that vulnerable people, the elderly, and those who live with Covid-19 comorbidities should still wear masks when socializing, as should those who they are socializing with.

People in closed public areas and on public transportation must still wear masks.

A translation of his statement is as follows ‘First, the government decided to relax the policy on wearing masks. If people are doing outdoor activities or in open areas that are not crowded with people, they are not allowed to wear masks. However, for activities in closed spaces and public transportation, you must still wear a mask…Second, for domestic and foreign travelers who have received a complete dose of vaccination, there is no longer a need for PCR or antigen swab tests.’

News of the pre-travel PCR test being scrapped for incoming vaccinated travelers comes as much welcomed news for families planning their holiday to Bali. Not only has the PCR test mandate been a cause for confusion for travelers but has also been extremely costly. It is thought the PCR test has been a limiting factor in potential travelers booking their visit to Bali. PCR tests for a family has been adding up to USD 300 extra onto a trip, making many low-budget family holiday unviable. 

tourist in bali

Despite the news from Jokowi being received as largely positive, the Governor of Bali sees the relaxation of mandates as a potential gateway for increased cases of Covid-19. The Governor of Bali, Wayan Koster, has released a statement to confirm that his regional government has submitted a request to the central government to declare Covid-19 an endemic in Bali. 

An endemic is defined as a disease or virus that affects a large number of people within a definable community, population, or region. A pandemic is a widespread and rapid spread of disease, essentially an endemic across multiple countries.

Declaring an endemic in Bali would enable the regional government to mandate their own Covid-19 regulations. Wayan Koster is not keen on lockdowns or restrictions, but he is keen to see Bali’s emergence from Covid-19 to be a one-way journey that is sustainable. Bali is currently in Level 2 of the nationwide restrictions which place limitations on the capacity of public spaces including places of worship, cafes, and event spaces.

Koster is keen to see an increase in second doses of vaccines and booster shots, as well as proof that caseloads don’t increase with increased numbers of tourists before relaxing all Covid-19 regulations in Bali. In his letter to the central government, Governor Koster wrote “In this regard, I request the Minister of Health to be pleased to establish an endemic status for Bali…I ask you to apply a new policy that is special for PPLN (lockdown legislation) to Bali, namely not requiring a PCR test in the context of accelerating the recovery of tourism and the Balinese economy”. He has Bali’s economic recovery at the front and center of his mind. 

Koster is specifically asking for endemic status to keep the mandate for the negative PCR test and mask mandate in place. 

It is not yet clear if Koster’s request will be granted. For now, however, the pre-arrival PCR test has been scrapped and masks in open, outdoor settings are no longer mandated in Indonesia. 

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Thursday 19th of May 2022

Glad that Jokowi is eliminating the predeparture negative PCR-test for fully vaccinated foreign travelers to Bali.


Thursday 19th of May 2022

Well the governor of Bali doesn't care if the people of Bali get their lives back, if he wants to keep the PCR test for fully vaccinated tourists then he will see a decline in tourism, every other country has dropped it, maybe he should give all tourists that have to get a PCR test the money back to them on arrival in Bali


Thursday 19th of May 2022

The pre-arrival Covid testing requirement for Indonesia has been scrapped, but would most Airlines know that?? One leading figure person says one thing but would the message be handed down across the board. International travelers do not want any surprises when checking in and Airlines are not informed of the new rules.

Paul Speirs

Thursday 19th of May 2022

The governor wants his head examined he will personally kill the recovery in bali if his stupid idea became law. Let the tourist come so long as they are fully vacinated, then get rid of visa on arrival costs. Let the good times roll on


Thursday 19th of May 2022

Jokowi, it is a start but not nearly enough to attract the high value tourists you need. Wayan Koster needs to be replaced; he is damaging Bali for decades to come. It is endemic and something we will need to live with so let’s get on with our lives.

Stock up on the alternative treatments working around the world and then remove all mandates so the good people of Bali can begin to put their lives back in order.



Sunday 22nd of May 2022

@Michael, what's that ivermectin as an alternative treatment? LOL. The oldest misinformation in the world.

Wayan Bo

Friday 20th of May 2022

@Michael, highly valued tourists don’t come, also because crime rate is to high.

Wayan Brapa

Friday 20th of May 2022

@Michael, Alternative treatments? LOL. Bali doesn't need hippy quackery.