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News and Rumors Spread About Bali Reopening For International Tourism On December 1st

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Over the weekend multiple local Bali news outlets ran stories on the island’s plans to reopen Bali for international tourism on December 1st.  These stories have not been verified by the Indonesian government and officials have not made a statement regarding the reopening. 

The stories are coming from a leaked memo that was widely circulated on social media and also shared with The Bali Sun regarding a meeting of high level officials. 

Bali tourists at beach surf

(Image: ©The Bali Sun – I Wayan Yatika)

In an interview with local media, the Bali Governor, Wayan Koster confirmed that the meeting had taken place but it was still being discussed.

“It’s being discussed (with) the Coordinating Minister and the Minister of Transportation,” said Koster, when met at the Bali DPRD Building, Monday (9/11).

The Bali Sun also reached out to the Bali Hotels Association and was provided with the following statement.

“There has been information circulating about the opening of Bali to International Flights on December 1, 2020. At this stage, this cannot be officially confirmed. The information circulating on social media and some chat applications cannot be validated. Therefore we urge stakeholders and visitors to remain positive but wait until the Central Government releases an official statement. In the meantime, Bali continues to welcome visitors from within Indonesia as well as other parts of the world that have arrived on approved e-Visas.”

(Image: ©The Bali Sun – I Wayan Yatika)

The head of the Bali provincial tourism office, Putu Astawa said he had no ‘official’ information regarding the meeting that took please in an interview Berita Bali.  “Officially I have not received this information,” Astawa said.

The Bali Sun will share the information that is being widely circulate but reminds readers that this informations has not been confirmed by the Indonesian government. 

Canggu beach in bali

(Image: ©The Bali Sun – I Wayan Yatika)

The leaked memo including minutes from a high level meeting included alleged plans to reopen Bali for international tourism on December 1st, 2020. 

The Bali Sun has obtained the alleged memo from a meeting that took place at the Astor hotel on Friday, November 6th, 2020 between the The Bali Airport Authority, The Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Director General of Indonesian Health regarding the reopening plans. 

bali local prayer at beach

(Image: ©The Bali Sun – I Wayan Yatika)

Allegedly, beginning December 1st, The Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport plans to start accepting its first international tourists.

According to the meeting minutes, passengers will be tested for COVID-19 with a PCR swab test upon arrival at the airport. 

They will then be transferred to designated ‘quarantine hotels’ while they await results from the test. 

bali tourist surfer

(Image: ©The Bali Sun – I Wayan Yatika)

The alleged meeting minutes went on to detail entry requirements that have not been confirmed.

The traveler will be responsible for the cost of the PCR test and the hotel room while they await results from their COVID-19 test. The results are expected to take 3-4 hours. 

If the result is negative, travelers will be able to leave the hotel and begin their holiday. 

If the test is positive, travelers will be quarantined to their hotel room for 14 days at the traveler’s cost.

(Image: ©The Bali Sun – I Wayan Yatika)

Bali’s economy has been decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally, the Bali Governor planned to reopen for international tourism on September 11th but was turned down by the Indonesian Government. 

Bali did however reopen for domestic tourism on July 31st and saw increasing numbers over the holiday long weekend. 

bali tourist in canggu beach

(Image: ©The Bali Sun – I Wayan Yatika)

At this time, there has not been any official news released from the Indonesian government or immigration.

The alleged meeting minutes also stated that On Saturday November 7th, airport and government authorities were running tourist arrival simulations. The simulations are designed to check how long the arrival process will take including the PCR test, transfer to hotel and getting test results back.  

The Health Agency of the Airport (KKP Bandara), the Airport Authority and the National Health Agency of the Central Government are working together on the simulations and how timing and health protocols will work. 

(Image: ©The Bali Sun – I Wayan Yatika)

A new digital system is expected to be implemented to help speed up the arrival process and prevent testing errors. Each traveler is expected to receive a digital QR code which they will use to receive test results. 

Whether these reopening plans are true or will be officially launched will depend on the Indonesian President and Ministry of Health who have not released any official information.

Over recent weeks Bali has seen a stabilization and in some cases decreases in the number of daily cases of COVID-19. 

Bali has confirmed a total of 12,133 cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic resulting in 399 deaths. 

Bali Hotels Association Begins Promoting Bali Tourism Reopening

(Image: ©The Bali Sun – I Wayan Yatika)

Last Week the Bali Hotels Association launched a series of 7 one minute videos to promote the reopening and return of Bali tourism.

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