Bali’s Initiative to Open COVID-19 Free-Travel Corridors is at its Final Stage

Bali’s Free-Travel Corridors at its Final Stage
Photo: IG @sandiuno

The Indonesian Tourism Minister, Sandiaga Uno, met the Governor and the Vice Governor of Bali in order to find solutions to recover the tourism industry on the island.

The meeting took place in the Governor’s official residence on Thursday, February 11. The opening of the planned travel corridors was one of the main topics.

Such travel bubbles would allow international visitors to enter the country without the need to quarantine upon their arrival. 

Travelers will have to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in their country of origin before they can visit the resort island. They will also have to take a swab test on arrival to ensure entering the country free of the virus.

Uno announced that the process of establishing a COVID-19 free corridor program is at its final stages.

What potential participant countries have agreed is yet to be revealed. According to various sources, China and Malaysia could be among them.

The Governor of Bali, Wayan Koster, pointed out that it was Uno who had requested the gathering. 

The Tourism Minister is making big efforts to bring tourism back to Bali, which has suffered a significant drop in foreign visitors since the beginning of the pandemic.

Along with other solutions, the Minister presented a financial aid plan for the businesses and villages most affected by the coronavirus crisis.

The government will provide a total of USD $669 million either as soft loans for establishments or wage incentives for the struggling areas.

Temple in Bali

International travel was forbidden for most of the last year. In November 2020, the Vice Governor of Bali, Tjokorda Artha Ardhana Sukawati, suggested reopening in the early months of 2021.

The initial efforts were scrapped in response to the appearance of the new, more transmissible strains of the virus.

Meanwhile, Uno called up remote workers to come to Bali and enjoy a “workcation” in the tropical destination. Leading by example, he has been working from there since January 28.

Currently, only Indonesian residents, holders of Diplomatic Visas, Single-Entry Business Visas, KITAP, or KITAS are allowed to enter the country.

The central government has granted priority to Bali in the vaccine supply. Quick progress in the vaccination program could help accomplish the reopening of the island.

According to Uno, Bali might be hopefully ready to open its borders for tourism again over the next few weeks.

Penjor, Bali