DENPASAR: Bali started a tentative re-opening to international tourists on Wednesday (Feb 16) with the first international passenger flight to the Indonesian vacation island in almost two years.
The resumption of flights comes because the Southeast Asian archipelago loosens quarantine guidelines even because it battles a surge in COVID-19 circumstances fuelled by the Omicron variant.
A Singapore Airlines airplane carrying 109 international travellers and 47 Indonesians landed in Bali on Wednesday, the island’s governor Wayan Koster advised a press convention.
The international guests should keep in a quarantine bubble at considered one of 27 designated resorts for 3 to seven days, relying on the variety of vaccine doses acquired, in keeping with new nationwide guidelines printed Wednesday.
“I hope that in early March, there will be no more quarantine obligation for tourists as long as they comply with health protocol requirements and show negative test results on departure and arrival,” the governor mentioned.
Arriving at Bali airport, Australian holidaymaker James mentioned the re-opening was a “great sign” for tourism.
Swiss nationwide Manuela, a frequent customer to Bali earlier than the pandemic, mentioned she had been eagerly anticipating the first flight to the “Island of the Gods”.
“Two years not going to Bali is a long time. After my friend wrote me that Bali would open, I immediately looked for the first flight,” she mentioned.
Singapore Airlines mentioned it’s going to function day by day flights between the city-state and Bali to fulfill “good demand”.
Other airways together with Australia-based Jetstar Airways may resume flights to the vacation hotspot as early as subsequent month, Bali’s governor added.
“We are aware of the increasing and fluctuating Omicron variant cases, but as long as we are strictly implementing health protocols, we should not be worried,” mentioned Bali Hotel and Restaurant Association chair Rai Wijaya.
Bali authorities trialled a restricted re-opening in October for a bunch of choose nations however the response was tepid because of strict quarantine necessities and the absence of direct flights.
Indonesia reported a file variety of new coronavirus circumstances on Tuesday.
Daily infections topped 57,000, in keeping with the federal government’s COVID-19 taskforce, surpassing the earlier peak in July final 12 months throughout the nation’s Delta wave.
Elsewhere within the area, the Philippines re-opened for international tourism final week whereas Vietnam is planning to welcome back international tourists from Mar 15.