Asia Pacific

Indonesia's Bali to reopen to some foreign tourists from mid-October

2 minute read

Tourists walk on a beach as the government extends restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Badung, Bali, Indonesia September 9, 2021. Antara Foto/Nyoman Hendra Wibowo/via REUTERS

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JAKARTA, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Indonesia will reopen its tourist island Bali for some international travellers, including those from China, New Zealand, and Japan, among others, from Oct. 14, senior cabinet minister Luhut Pandjaitan said on Monday.

Bali's Ngurah Rai international airport will be open to foreign tourists from that date, with visitors required to quarantine for eight days at their own expense, Luhut told reporters.

The country's reopening and easing of social restrictions is being conducted in stages, he said, because Indonesia "doesn't want the unexpected to happen".

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Indonesia has been among the countries worst hit by COVID-19 in Asia, officially recording more than 4 million cases and 142,000 deaths, although public health experts believe the true toll is far higher.

However, daily cases have plummeted from more than 56,000 at the peak of the second wave in mid-July this year to 1,100 cases on Oct. 3.

Health minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin had previously flagged reopening the popular resort island, saying foreign tourists could return after more than 70% of people on Bali had received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

The government has also signaled its willingness to reopen the island to international tourists to help revive Bali's battered economy.

Indonesia, Southeast Asia's biggest economy, exited its first recession in over two decades in the second quarter, though a COVID-19 resurgence and ensuing social restrictions likely weighed on the recovery momentum.

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Reporting by Stanley Widianto Writing by Fransiska Nangoy and Kate Lamb; Editing by Martin Petty and Ed Davies

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