JAKARTA: Bali, Indonesia’s popular tourist destination, will begin admitting visitors from all countries later this week, officials announced on Monday, more than three months after stating that it was only available to certain nationalities.

Despite the fact that Bali officially opened to travellers from China, New Zealand, and Japan in mid-October, there have been no direct flights since, according to Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno.
Thailand made similar pronouncements in December, suspending quarantine waivers due to initial concerns regarding vaccination efficacy against the Omicron strain of Covid-19.

Amid having gotten outbreaks under control in the second half of last year, the decision comes despite a persistent uptick in Covid-19 cases in Indonesia this month. The growth has been attributed to Omicron by health officials.

Bali, which is known for its surfing, temples, waterfalls, and nightlife, had 6.2 million international tourists in 2019, the year before Covid-19 struck, but strong pandemic border restrictions wreaked havoc on tourism, which accounts for 54 percent of the economy.

Singapore Airlines announced on Friday that flights to Bali from Singapore will resume on February 16.

International tourists who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 would still be obliged to spend five to seven days in quarantine, according to senior minister Luhut Pandjaitan.

Last Monday, Indonesia welcomed visitors from Singapore to two islands near the city-state.

The island has been receiving foreign visitors via the capital Jakarta in recent months, according to Ida Ayu Indah Yustikarini of the Bali Government Tourism Office, although no official data are available.

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