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Image: Governor Koster announcing the changes on Monday evening. Credit: Pemprov Bali.

Coming to Bali is no longer an easy option for domestic travelers. The Bali provincial government announced earlier this week a tightening of the requirements for domestic travelers entering the Island of the Gods.

From today (30/6), air travelers must bring a negative PCR test result, while land-sea visitors must be carrying the rapid antigen tests. [Once again it is not explained why there is a difference. Ed]

“Travelers arriving at Denpasar Airport must use a PCR-based swab test. The GeNose test is no longer allowed,” Bali Governor Wayan Koster told DETIK at the Bali DPRD Building, Monday (28/6).

The impact of Bali’s tightening plan was immediately felt at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport. On Wednesday (29/6/2021), a number of airlines had already canceled flights to Bali.

“Today, Wednesday, 30-40 percent of the take-off landings have been cancelled and there are only 20 take-off landings all day. They are dominated by Jakarta, Surabaya, Lombok and Ujung Pandang,” said Taufan Yudhistira, Relations Manager of PT Angkasa Pura I (Persero) I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport Branch Office Bali, when contacted Tuesday (29/6).

The Governor of Bali, I Wayan Koster told reporters that the new rules for entering Bali would not erode the interest of foreign tourists to visit Bali in the near future.

Koster said this was not the first time the Bali provincial government had tightened the entrance referring to late last year’s tightening of the rules and believes visits will remain stable.

Until today, there were around 8,000-9,000 people who entered the Island of the Gods by air every day and 10 thousand people who came by land.

“It won’t affect the number greatly. At the end of 2020, the entrance was tightened and still there were a lot of visitors,” he explained on Tuesday (29/6).

According to the governor, to attract visitors to Bali it is best to tighten the rules to foster public confidence that it is safe to vacation in Bali. This was also corroborated by local Bali tourism officials.

“If there is an increase in cases, people will not feel comfortable visiting Bali, and what we hope instead is that the numbers will fall,” he added.

Koster said the rules would be evaluated again when the Covid-19 cases outside Bali, especially on the island of Java, begin to lower.

“When the cases are falling and vaccinations increase, we will evaluate the situation. Maybe the PCR test is no longer needed, but only antigens. We shall see,” he explained.

In addition to restricting travel, Koster stated that the travel certificate to Bali must also be accompanied by a QR code to ensure that the letter is the result of the original test.

Rules are in place to avoid falsification of health certificates, which are widely sold by certain individuals.

“To make sure a certificate is genuine, it must be equipped with a QR code because unfortunately some people are paying for false certificates,” he explained.