EU Recommends Adding Indonesia To The List Of Countries Without Travel Restrictions

EU Recommends Adding Indonesia To The List Of Countries Without Travel Restrictions

The European Union’s Council has advised its Member States to lift the entry ban on both vaccinated and unvaccinated arrivals from Indonesia “as soon as possible.”

On Nov. 18, the Southeast Asian country joined the list of 19 safe destinations for which visitors should not undergo mandatory testing or quarantine on arrival. 

The move also means that returning EU travelers would not face any restrictions when coming back home.

The country made it to the “safe” list after seeing a sharp drop in COVID-19 cases. In the last 24 hours, Indonesia’s Covid-19 Task Force reported only 400 new infections in a country of 273.5 million inhabitants. 

Bali, one of the two territories opened for international tourism, has fully vaccinated 82% of its population.

indonesian flag in bali

“Following a review under the recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU, the Council updated the list of countries… ….for which travel restrictions should be lifted. In particular, Indonesia was added to the list,” A press release issued by the EU Council reads. 

Indonesia still needs to figure out how to attract international airlines to its islands.

As of today, travelers from Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Poland, Italy and France as well as other non-EU nations are allowed to enter Bali and Riau for leisure purposes. 

However, according to a report released by the tourism board on Nov. 15, no international flights have arrived on the island after a month into the reopening.

Bali Tourism Board (BTB), Association of the Indonesian Tours and Travel Agencies (ASITA) Bali Chapter and the Indonesia Inbound Tour Operators Association (IINTOA) have identified the current inbound flight regulation, quarantine requirements and visa policies as the aspects preventing international airlines to resume operations to the country. 

According to BTB’s head, allowing a country to come back does not translate into tourists being able to travel to Indonesia. 

“From UAE, for example, it is difficult for Emirates Airlines or Qatar Airways to bring travelers to Bali, because being international hubs, the majority of their passengers are [from other countries] and not Doha, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.”