Bali Plans To Reopen Borders Even Earlier With A New 'Bali Bubble'

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When it comes to getting more bang for your holiday buck, you can’t beat Bali. A favourite destination for Aussie holidaymakers, the Indonesian island is only hours away and promises a whole new world of stunning sunsets, luxury villas and beachside day clubs. 

Bali

A Bali Bubble

Desperate to start bolstering their ailing economy, which relies heavily on tourist dollars, the Indonesian government is planning on implementing a ‘travel bubble’ between Australia, China, South Korea and Japan. Subject to strict criteria and health protocols, the chosen four nations were selected based on the high volume of tourists they bring in, as well as their vested business interests which have supported the Indonesian economy - two things the country seriously needs right now. 

“For the initial stage we are opening (our borders) firstly to those four countries, and other countries will follow suit, and of course health protocols will be prioritised,” Odo Manuhutu, deputy co-ordinating Minister maritime affairs and investment, has said. “After the criteria are made, negotiations will be held with those countries for two, three or four weeks. When agreements are reached, the travel bubbles will be opened.” 

The COVID-19 crisis has had a debilitating effect on the Indonesian economy, and it was hit hard by early predictions that the country was doomed for full-blown disaster, but Bali, the country’s golden child, reported a much lower fatality rate than the rest of the region. Due to its success controlling the outbreak, the tropical holiday hotspot had forecast reopening to tourists in October, but predications are now as early as July.

Bali Resort

There are of course detractors arguing that the proposed travel bubble is premature, as COVID-19 case numbers are still on the rise in some parts of Indonesia and China is working to curb a recent outbreak.

A bubble between Bali and Australia could allow travel between regions recording zero or low COVID-19 infections, as Bali’s economy simply can't wait much longer.

“Considering that Bali is a major tourist destination, it is necessary to take immediate and prompt steps to restore travel to the island and all key destinations in the country.” Ni Wayan Giri Adnyani, Secretary to the Ministry, has said. 

While this is great news for the tourist mecca, don’t book your tickets yet! Our government is yet to confirm the proposed on the bubble, and strict Australian restrictions could mean we are at the mercy of our own border control, with reports that international travel could remain off-limits until 2023. 

Beaches Now Open To Heartbroken Surfers

Meanwhile, if you happen to be stranded in Bali (lucky you) and you're a surfer, take note that the government feels really sorry for you. Foreign surfers (but not locals) in Bali are now allowed back in the water at Canggu and Padang Padang, in the Canggu and Uluwatu areas. Kuta Beach is still closed. 

Officials say they made the decision because they didn’t want surfers sneaking through bushes to avoid the beach barricades and getting bitten by snakes.

“We just feel pity for them, staying in Bali but they can’t go to a beach. They feel dizzy, a little bit stressed,” Badung Tourism Agency chief, Made Badra, told 7NEWS.com.au.

“We want to make sure that all foreigners that still stay in Bali are happy being in Bali.”

Oh so nice! Now let the rest of back in! Safely, of course... 

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