Indonesia to partially open to international visitors

Indonesia hopes to open to international travellers in July but local lockdowns may put this at risk.

Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism says that preparations are underway to welcome international visitors this year.

The country is looking to partially re-open its borders to international visitors in July 2021, with destinations including Bali serving as regions to kick-start tourism for the whole country. The government of Indonesia is also planning to begin the development of medical and health tourism in Bali.

But the plans may be delayed as tough internal lockdown rules have been extended to 28 June and could be extended again. The risk of COVID-19 transmission has been flagged red, orange, yellow and green in different parts of the country: the green zone means free of new cases.

In preparation, the government has initiated the Cleanliness, Health, Safety, and Environmental Sustainability (CHSE) certification programme throughout the tourism sector in Indonesia.

The government has negotiated bilateral travel corridors with countries including the United Arab Emirates, China, South Korea, and Singapore. A potential deal with Malaysia has not yet happened.

Currently, all non-Indonesian travellers are prohibited from entering Indonesia with a few exceptions, medical tourism not being one of them.

All domestic or international travellers arriving in Indonesia or Bali must currently present a negative Covid-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours and take another test on arrival. All need to quarantine at their own expense in a designated hotel for a period of five days. After five days they undertake a third PCR test. If this is negative, they are allowed to proceed but if the test is positive, they are referred to hospital.

 The restrictions have and will continue to have a significant knock on effect for outbound medical tourism to Malaysia, as two out of three medical tourists to this destination are from Indonesia. Over a million Indonesians travel for medical treatment with their favourite destinations being Malaysia and Singapore.