Image: Lion Air in Bali. Credit: Flickr Uwe Schwarzbach
Since yesterday, Thursday (05/28) anyone arriving at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport is required to bring a negative Covid-19 certificate based on a swab test, however there appears to have been some minor hiccups getting it off the ground.
The Bali Provincial Secretary Dewa Made Indra said yesterday the regulation will be socialized to the public for the next seven days. This regulation will also be evaluated in view of the situation and conditions that occur in the field. He asked the airlines to carry out a vigorous verification of passengers flying to Bali.
This regulation does not apply to flight crews and passengers in transit. They only need to show a non-reactive rapid-test Covid-19 certificate.
“Except if the crew will stay in Bali, then it is obligatory to show a negative swab or PCR result,” Dewa said. The regulation also applies to civil servants (PNS), the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI), and the National Police who conduct official travel. If the three of those groups get a sudden and very important assignment, they can show a certificate of assignment and the results of the rapid test.
Dewa added, this rule was intended to limit people traveling to Bali. He also said that people who had no urgent business on the island were advised to delay their trip.
The regulation has been approved by the Director General of Civil Aviation through Letter Number UM.101 / 0002 / DRJU.KSHIU 2020 dated May 20, 2020. Matters regarding the obligation to bring Covid-19 negative certificates based on the swab test to Bali was also justified by Corporate Communication Senior Manager of AP I, Awaluddin.
“That’s right, the Ngurah Rai Airport swab tests are applied,” Awaluddin said when contacted by Kompas.com, Thursday evening (05/28). However, he has not been able to explain how it has been applied so far because until now there has not been a passenger flight to Bali.
“In regard to the application of the swab tests for passengers landing in Bali, currently there are no flights with a destination to Bali,” he explained.
Meanwhile, both Lion Air Group and Citilink have announced they are suspending domestic flights in Indonesia until May 31, 2020. Citilink was quoted as saying that it was a company policy decision but Lion Air was more forthcoming.
Danang Mandala Prihantoro, Lion Air Group Corporate Communications Head, in a release said that the Lion Air Group strongly supports the government’s efforts to prevent the spread of Covid-19. And they do this by actively implementing health protocols established by the government.
However, based on an evaluation of previous flight operations, many potential passengers cannot continue their journey or cannot fly and must return with all costs (meaning many losses to Lion). This is due to ignorance or lack of understanding of the conditions that must be met in order to be able to travel by air at the present time.
Previously, the Bali Provincial Covid-19 Task Force issued regulations for all those who wanted to go to Bali must fill out an application form on the website http://cekdiri.baliprov.go.id. “Fill in the application form to get a QR code as proof of filling in the application form,” says the information. In addition, there are several other regulations governing people going to Bali by air and sea.