Bali drops quarantine as easy visa-on-arrival makes a comeback

Beach breaks and resort getaways in Bali are back as the popular holiday destination seeks to kickstart tourism.

By David Flynn, March 8 2022
Bali drops quarantine as easy visa-on-arrival makes a comeback

Indonesia is welcoming tourists back to Bali, with mandatory quarantine gone and a streamlined visa-on-arrival process now in place for travellers from Australia and 23 other countries.

That visa will cost around A$50, can be obtained only when you land at Denpasar and will permit entry for 30 days.

You'll also need to show proof of accommodation booked for at least four nights and hold travel insurance with Covid-19 medical coverage of at least US$25,000.

Indonesia Institute President, Ross Taylor, said he expects the initial uptake of flights to be a little slow as some travellers may initially be hesitant to head overseas, but as the Australian winter sets in and Bali enters its dry season, cravings for a winter escape will be high.

Pool villas in Bali are tranquil sanctuaries popular with Aussie visitors
Pool villas in Bali are tranquil sanctuaries popular with Aussie visitors

Getting to Bali is a little trickier than it once was, with flag carrier Garuda Indonesia flying from Sydney to the Indonesian holiday hotspot just once each week, with a return leg via Jakarta.

Qantas and Jetstar make things a bit easier, with direct flights from both Sydney and Melbourne returning from next week; Virgin Australia will follow, with flights from Sydney and Melbourne from May 2.

All tourists must be fully vaccinated to enter Bali and along with the usual PCR test prior to leaving Australia, just need to do one test on arrival. If this test comes back positive, you can still enter the country but will recover at a central isolation facility.

Any traveller wishing to visit another part of Indonesia can do so after taking another PCR test on day 3 of their visit and returning a negative result.

All-villa resorts such as Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay will have added appeal to visitors.
All-villa resorts such as Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay will have added appeal to visitors.

Famous for its temples and beaches, Bali attracted some 6.2 million foreign visitors in 2019, the year before Covid-19 struck and has for many years been Australia’s second most popular overseas destination after New Zealand.

"We cannot wait to welcome Aussies back to Bali,” enthuses Uday Rao, General Manager of Four Seasons Resorts Bali, saying that “Aussies have always been the first to return and the last to leave.”

And the roots go so deep that in the past, Rao explains, “some Australian guests made such a strong connection with our Balinese staff that they invited them to Australia and sponsored their visa, hosted them at their home, treated them like VIPs – which is testament to the strong bond we have.”

New experiences added to the Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay include an ‘Ocean-to-Table Fishing Adventure’ where guests catch their lunch with a local fisherman on a jukung-style fishing boat, and Indonesia’s only ‘smoke oven’ barbecue feast where meats, seafood, sweets and plant-based dishes are cooked over coffee wood for unique melt-in-your-mouth succulence.

Rao also highlights the Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay’s revamped program for kids, with hands-on activities such as crafts and kite-flying, Balinese dance and martial arts, cooking and even making mocktails, while adults relax at the new Healing Village Spa.

Indeed, ‘all-villa’ resorts like the Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay – where each of the 147 private pool villas set on 14 hectares of oceanfront gardens is a self-contained retreat – may prove even more appealing to visitors who place a premium on seclusion.

Read more: The best luxury hotels in Bali

Additional reporting by Matt Lennon.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2011

Total posts 363

Cant see anybody returning any time soon under these latest restrictions announced. If they want to open up, then these half measures wont cut it.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 531

That's true, but this is Asia we're talking about here. Corruption and incompetence are the name of the game here. Authorities make a good amount of money on testing and quarantine hotels, hence why they continue to insist on travellers using them for now.

Masks are still mandatory in all public settings. You might even be spoken to by a local "Karen" for not wearing a mask while you shuffle between the buffet and your table during breakfast. Asians are super scared of Covid and take it very seriously even though many of the "rules" are illogical and make no sense.

Therefore, my advice would be to wait until around the middle of this year (July or so) when it is likely that even Indonesia will declare Covid as endemic and lift all entry restrictions. After then, it is likely that you'll be allowed to "breathe easy" without a mask on and won't have to worry about scaring the locals or getting into an altercation because you're not wearing a mask on the street or something like that.

23 Oct 2014

Total posts 232

I thought Virgin had already announced March 27 to launch BNE, SYD and MEL to DPS.

02 Mar 2022

Total posts 1

and what options are there for vaccine free travellers? 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 470

Probably none, with the possible exception of those who are medically unable to be vaccinated.

04 Mar 2022

Total posts 1

Won’t be any options for unvaxxed OS travel ever, the $300-400 visa will turn most aussies off anyway. 

Probably a great time to visit as the stereotypical Bali goers won’t be able to go!!! 

Great to see OS travel is getting closer though 

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 531

Sorry guys, but if you don't know the answer to questions posed like the one above, please kindly refrain from answering. Not only are you wrong, but your passive aggressive tone only causes further division.

Here's the truth: Like I said, Bali is now allowing the unvaccinated back in, on condition of doing a 7-day hotel quarantine. There was a period, starting on August 5, 2021 and lasting for about 6 months, when all unvaccinated foreigners, with the exception of those arriving from China and South Korea, were restricted from entering Indonesia. This restriction has now been lifted.

Most Australian states have cut the quarantine for the unvaccinated in half to 7 days and in the weeks and months to come, they'll shift to a home quarantine model and/or lift it entirely.

Most countries do NOT require vaccination as a condition of entry. Where vaccination is used, it generally results in a truncated quarantine, but the unvaccinated can still enter, subject to a longer quarantine. Countries where this applies include Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and now Cebu in the Philippines. The USA is an unusual anomaly - no quarantine but unvaccinated are not permitted entry at this time, unless they're US citizens or green card holders.

As Covid becomes endemic, these restrictions will be lifted. Thailand has confirmed, multiple times, that entry conditions will revert back to the old Covid status quo, once Covid has been made "endemic" which they are aiming to do by July. I am sure other countries will follow suit. Already in the last week alone, 3 more countries have fully lifted ALL entry restrictions: Kuwait, Ireland and Bahrain. This means no more testing or proof of vaccination required. By April, Sweden, the UK and probably several other European countries will join this list.

Australia is behind, but even we will get there in the months to come.

The second half of 2022 looks bright on the travel front with a couple of exceptions: the unpredictable nature of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and how it may continue to affect flight routings, oil prices, inflation and so forth. However, for those of us heading to destinations NOT affected by the conflict, such as East Asia, North America, the Middle East and Western Europe, you'll probably find that entry requirements will be rather straightforward.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 531

John, since there is a 7 day quarantine for the unvaxxed, that's what those with medical exemptions will need to use. Unlike Australia, Bali doesn't recognize medical exemptions. The best advice for those who are unvaccinated is to wait OR choose a destination with no vax requirements (more are being added every week, as the world opens back up).

17 Mar 2020

Total posts 2

When it says hotel booking needs to be provided, does this mean villa accomodation is not an option for now, or will a villa booking be ok too?

23 Oct 2014

Total posts 232

The PCR prior to departing @ a cost of $150 each will rule out most family’s at a cost of $600, then another in Bali on day 3.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 531

Most families will probably not bother traveling to Bali at this time, given that you have to be masked on the flight over there and back, and at all times while you're there, except while eating, drinking or exercising. Not many Australian children, particularly younger children under the age of 8 or so, have ever worn a mask or would be comfortable wearing one in the stifling heat and humidity of Bali. The PCR testing is also painful and uncomfortable for children.

I doubt kids would be keen on travelling there at this time, given these restrictions. Wouldn't be much fun for them.

It's therefore best to wait until these restrictions are scrapped, which might happen around the middle of the year or Q3 of 2022. If one must go to Bali before then and is able to put up with all these restrictions, then don't bring the kids.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1191

Indonesia has tonight announced that the Visa on Arrival scheme has been reintroduced for 7 airports including Jakarta.  This replaces the somewhat cumbersome and time consuming e-Visa system that has been in use for the past month everywhere except Bali which had already returned to Visa on Arrival.  Great news particularly as I have to visit Jakarta twice in the next month. 

19 Apr 2022

Total posts 1

Hi...freqflyer...or anyone.  are you sure about the unvax being allowed in even with quarantine?  I'm reading that they will come to your quarantine and vax you if you have only 1 shot or are unvaxxed. I've read that on a few different sites.  also I'm getting plenty of confusing info depending on which site you look to about wether an exemption will be taken if you've previously had covid in the last 30 days and have dr's notice of recovery.  anyone with any info about unvax and indo, i'd love to hear more. or what would the most official site to check be?  mixed info coming through now.  thanks

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