in support of vaccine boost effort bali government scraps pcr test for bali travelers
On Tuesday May 17, Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced that the need for PCR testing for vaccinated travelers arriving in Indonesia had ended. This news has been welcomed by Bali's local government, which has renewed its efforts to ensure vaccination rates on the island remain high to support public health.
The Jokowi government also removed the outdoor mask mandate, leaving very few Covid-19 related restrictions. Both Bali and Java fall under Tier 2 restrictions, with the remaining mandates limiting the number of cafes, restaurants, places of worship and event spaces allowed to be hosted at any one time. It is believed that these capacity restrictions will soon be removed as well, allowing cafes and restaurants to operate at 100% capacity instead of 70%.
The updated mask mandate still states that masks must be worn in indoor public spaces and on public transportation. This news has been positively received by travellers, locals and the tourism sector. Bali's local government also welcomed news that the central government was prioritizing economic recovery by easing travel restrictions.
However, Bali Governor Wayan Koster announced that he had submitted a request to the central government to declare COVID-19 endemic in Bali. If granted, it would allow him to impose restrictions for Bali only. It's impossible to give away and with that in mind, the Balinese government is taking to the streets to make sure locals are double-vaccinated and get their booster shots.
Bali's Deputy Mayor Kadek Wibawa at a press conference on Wednesday, May 18, said the political reform would support the recovery of Bali's tourism sector. He tells how 88% of Denpasar Regency's population is fully immunized and the island-wide numbers are catching up. Denpasar now has the third highest vaccination rate in all of Indonesia.
Following the revocation of the mandate for outdoor masks, the provincial government of Bali plans to continue the hard work of the local Covid-19 task force. Instead of controlling the use of masks in public spaces, the Covid-19 task force will now inform the public of vaccination status.
A vaccination certificate check will be carried out to ensure that those who have been vaccinated once have received a second dose, and those who have been vaccinated twice are encouraged to receive a booster. According to data from the Bali Health Service, no new cases of Covid-19 were recorded in Denpasar on Monday, May 16. A positive sign that the number of cases has been reduced for good.
Wibawa said, “I coordinated and led Denpasar Satpol-PP and Denpasar Covid-19 Task Force. The direction is to change the inspection pattern from mask inspection to overpressure injection inspection. Now, this will be consistent with the President's statement and we will protect the public by ensuring they have received the vaccine."
Travelers and expats in Bali are unlikely to be stopped for vaccination certificate checks, as Indonesia's entry requirements now require tourists to present their vaccination certificate to passport control officers. Persons medically excluded from vaccinations must present a certificate of exclusion signed by a doctor. Children under 18 do not need to present a vaccination certificate upon arrival.
Many internationally run hotels, resorts, restaurants and transfer companies require their Indonesian staff to be double vaccinated before returning to work, which is why street vaccination campaigns are so important for health and the economy of the Balinese people.
Over the past month Bali has seen a significant drop in the unemployment rate, this is another positive sign that Bali is emerging from the pandemic and committed to keeping its doors open to international visitors with no strings attached.