UPDATE: This story was updated at 15h30 on March 29. See italics in last section of story. South Africans may now get Visa on Arrival.
Bali has scrapped its quarantine-on-arrival requirement for all vaxxed international travellers, making travel to the Indonesian island province easier for tourists once more.
But there remain regulations which tourists will see as obstacles to their holiday, and it could well be that the cost of extra testing (and the inconvenience), plus the confusing regulations will be a handbrake on the recovery of tourism.
*There is the already globally commonplace regulation that arrivals must show proof of vaccination, with the final dose received at least 14 days prior to travel.
*But, all comers must also carry a negative PCR test result taken within 48 hours before travel. Children under the age of 12 are exempt from the vaccination requirement.
*All international travellers also need travel insurance with COVID-19 medical coverage at least US$30 000 (R452 000) in value.
*Then, they must have proof of minimum three days of accommodation booked at a certified hotel.
*That’s not all - another PCR test must be taken on arrival in the airport, and travellers must await their results in a government-certified hotel. Guests need only stay in their hotel room until the results of this test come back negative.
*The next step towards tourists enjoying their holiday is, even after having had a negative test result, they must commit to a third PCR test on the third day of their stay.
After the on-arrival test negative result, visitors may leave their hotel room to explore Bali, but they may only travel to stay at other accommodation after their final negative test result. This is the reason why proof of booked accommodation in a certified hotel, for the first three days after arrival, is another requirement to visit the destination.
On March 6, Bali’s Visa on Arrival programme was reinstated for travellers from selected countries.
South Africans can again apply for a Visa on Arrival (VoA) to Bali, after the list of countries where travellers are eligible for the programme was extended on March 23.
The list originally included only 23 nations, but now applies to 42 countries, including the US, UK and South Africa.
This means that South African travellers no longer need a Visit Visa B211A to travel to Bali for tourism purposes, but can instead apply for a VoA, which is valid for 30 days and can be extended by another 30 days just once. The offer is exclusively for those travelling for tourism.
To be eligible for the programme, arrivals must show proof of payment for at least four days’ accommodation, full vaccination against COVID-19, and a negative PCR test result.
According to Travelinfo, additional requirements are a South African passport, valid for at least six months upon arrival, health insurance covering COVID-19-related incidents, and proof of a booked return ticket to South Africa. All visitors, regardless of nationality, who wish to travel to Papua Province must obtain a special permit from the Indonesian Immigration Office, and also the State Police department in the capital, Jakarta.