7 Thing About Corona in Indonesia and Bali: everything you need to know
No question – 2020 is all about Wuhan, Corona, Covid-19 and Co. Since the virus spread to all continents earlier this year, a wave of lockdowns and travel restrictions has spread to almost all parts of the planet.
Now that the situation in Europe has eased somewhat, many are wondering when it will be possible to travel to Indonesia again .
Note: Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter, you will receive all important updates (about Corona in Indonesia, and when we can travel again) directly to your mailbox!
1. Current situation
International air traffic has also been at a standstill in Indonesia since the beginning of April . The corona virus has resulted in schools, restaurants, shops, public places and religious sites being closed step by step. The domestic traffic by land, air and sea was with a few exceptions brought to a complete standstill.
Even if he was strongly criticized for this from outside, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had already spoken out against a lockdown at the beginning of the crisis . What followed was the partial implementation of PSBB (Pembatasan Sosial Berskala Besar = “large-scale social restrictions”) to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Although the cases in the country are still increasing, many restrictions have been relaxed since June . Offices, shops and malls were allowed to open under certain conditions. In so-called ” green zones ” (areas in which no cases are reported), pupils are allowed to attend schools. Also, ferries, planes and buses operate again, but with significant limitations and strict, regionally different regulations.
It is difficult to keep an overview of the current situation in the country. In general, unnecessary domestic travel without good reason is discouraged . Although almost all national airlines have resumed operations, most of them only fly limited routes.
To make matters worse, there are large differences in terms of entry into certain regions .
The regulations for Bali and Jakarta seem to be a little clearer (see below), but the same applies here: typical Indonesia chaos , in which one official often does not know what the other has done. All information should therefore be used with caution, especially since it can change daily.
If you are in the country and want to get from A to B (especially regions except Bali and Jakarta), you should find out about the travel regulations on site (preferably directly at the airport / ferry port). The websites of the respective airlines can also provide information about this.
The Indonesian tourist office has published a list of tourist attractions that operate under strict regulations and only with a capacity of 50%.
2. What’s the future like?
Even if that is the big question that concerns us all, this answer can only give us the crystal ball. From a sober perspective, the country is not yet on the mend with increasing numbers every day.
Bali , which is 80% dependent on tourism, hit the crisis particularly hard. For this reason, the governor of Bali has presented a non-binding plan to gradually open the island . According to this, Indonesian tourists should be allowed to travel to Bali again from July 31 .If the situation improves, tourists from abroad will also be able to fly to the island from September 11th . Which nationalities are the first to count on entry remains unclear. It may well be that neighboring Asian countries will be the first.
It should not be forgotten that decisions regarding the opening up to international tourism are made from Jakarta. Premature conclusions from individual regions should be used with caution. So-called travel bubbles , in which two or more countries enter into a travel agreement, also seem unlikely. In order for two countries to agree on a travel bubble, both countries must have a similar trend in the number of cases. For this reason you have to wait and see!
3. Travel regulations and information
Indonesian citizens can enter at any time as long as they provide the required documents . Foreign citizens with a residence permit (KITAS / KITAP) may also enter.
International flights currently only run through Bali and Jakarta. A negative PCR test result (which must not be more than 14 days ago) and a surat tugas issued by the employer (“ letter of order”) are required for entry .
In addition, entry to Bali must be registered beforehand using this link. This graphic by Garuda provides more information about international entry via Jakarta. A subsequent 14-day self-isolation is mandatory.
Unfortunately, there are always reports from Bali that, despite a negative PCR test result, travelers were subjected to a new test on-site and quartered in one of the quarantine facilities until the test result.
Note that the Federal Foreign Office has issued the travel warning for Europe since June 15. has lifted, but the general travel warning for the remaining countries still exists until August 31.
The following rules apply to domestic traffic : carrying a negative PCR or rapid test result (must not be older than 14 days), a Health Alert Card (or the digital version via the eHAC app ), a health certificate issued by the local hospital and installation the PeduliLindei tracking app .
If you want to go to Jakarta in the city, you must also apply for a SIKM (Surat Ijin Keluar Masuk = “entry and exit permit”). This does not apply to transit at Jakarta airport.
The website of Garuda Airline s gives a small overview of the regionally different travel regulations. However, this information is not guaranteed and can be changed at any time.
c. Current visa requirements
No short-term visas (Tourist / Social / Business Visa) are currently issued for foreign citizens. The Visa On Arrival is also suspended until further notice.
The Immigration Service has provided a free Emergency Stay Permit for visitors who entered the country after February 5 and are in the country. This is valid until July 13th. Thereafter, visitors have 30 days to leave the country or to extend their visas under certain conditions.
Special regulations apply to citizens with KITAS and KITAP .
d. Additional Information
On the website of the Federal Foreign Office, you will find all information about current travel warnings.
Regular, detailed updates on the Covid-19 situation with official government documents can also be found on the website of the German-Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The websites of Indonesian airlines provide current information on all aspects of national air traffic.
You can find an interactive map of the current Corona numbers here.
You can find another map divided into green, yellow, and red zones on the official Covid-19 Task Force website.
The only group on Facebook that reliably provides daily information about all developments (especially with regard to travel and tourism) is the Bali Covid-19 Update by Jackie Pomeroy. You will find all the information you need, especially about Bali and Jakarta.
We will also update this article regularly to keep you updated on the most important developments. If you subscribe to our newsletter, you can be sure that you will not miss any updates.
4. The local population and Corona
In a country with around 300 million inhabitants, it is difficult to grasp the general mood of the corona theme. Nevertheless, I will try to report as objectively as possible how my friends, their families, neighbors, and Indonesians I meet say about Corona.
At the start of the crisis, many Indonesians were concerned. China and Europe had filled the news channels long before. Everyone was aware that an explosive outbreak in a country like Indonesia could lead to disaster.
Despite the deaths associated with Covid-19, information about a rather mild course of the disease continued to leak. Reports of “fake” illness and death certificates, as well as reports of family members who illegally “took away” their deceased relatives from the hospitals led to a certain skepticism among the Indonesians.
Since the Corona crisis coincided with the time of Ramadan, music (the traditional return to the villages to celebrate the end of Lent) was officially banned in mid-May. However, this did not prevent the majority of Indonesians from filling the markets for traditional shopping in large numbers. It cannot be answered whether this was due to ignorance or ignorance, despite the increasing numbers.
Many Indonesians are now seeing the corona crisis with more critical eyes. Hardly anyone is really afraid of a virus. The prevailing opinion is that a lot of things are just “business”. Hospitals, doctors, and test stations actually earn hard money because a test can cost between IDR 200,000 and IDR 1 million. In addition, many reports of “acquaintances” who had only mild complaints.
It is likely that the bigger cities will be stricter, but far from the hustle and bustle and in rural areas, the Indonesians do not seem to follow the rules so much. The Covid-19 containment protocol (social distancing, wearing a mask) is only followed if someone really controls it.
The mood seems relaxed . Life goes its usual way and “typical Indonesian” is a lot to be amazed at. In the mosque, in which the minimum distance was still diligently observed last week, the faithful are already close together today. The Warung owner, who didn’t conjure up a Nasi Goreng without a mask last week, has already shelved it today.
One can only speculate about where the serenity of the Indonesians comes from. One reason for this can be that illnesses such as flu with fever or dengue occur very often without the sick person visiting a doctor or a hospital. The disease is then simply referred to as “malaria” and exuded from the pharmacy with natural herbal trunks such as Jamu and a few simple antibiotics.
Unfortunately, deaths whose causes are unknown are also not entirely unusual. Often not much is questioned, but simply accepted these events as God-given . Especially with the (majority) simple people, the course of illnesses and backgrounds tend to remain in the dark.
Perhaps it is country life that is generally more connected to nature and healthier than city life? Or the right mindset that (as we know) also strengthens the immune system? Or maybe it is the incredible number of crises that this country has already weathered? Shane Preuss wrote a great report in English.
Incidentally, the President’s decision was welcomed not to put the country under a complete lockdown. If you consider that the majority of Indonesians have to leave the house every day in order to be able to feed the family in the evening, you can understand this train of thought.
It is not uncommon to hear the opinion that lockdowns are only for rich people and those who can afford them.
5. Health care in Indonesia
The Indonesian health system leaves much to be desired. Far too little has been invested in this sector for far too long. There is a lack of public hospitals and good doctors across the country, even though state health insurance has been in place since 2014.
Many private hospitals have settled in larger cities and tourist areas. These mostly have a western standard and English-speaking, well-trained doctors. Accordingly, they also charge higher prices. In Bali, this includes the BIMC Hospital Bali and the Siloam Hospital Denpasar.
There is only minimal medical care in small towns and villages. Often you can only find a first aid station or a health center (Puskesmas) where doctors work, but only limited treatments are possible.
COVID 19 tests are available in some clinics. You can find a small overview of tests in Bali here.
a. Emergency numbers on site
- Police: 110 or 112 (SMS 1717)
- Ambulance: 118 or 119
- Firefighters: 113
- Tourist Police (Bali): +62 361 754 599 / +62 361 224 111
b. Which travel insurance also covers a pandemic?
Not all travel insurance policies protect you in the event of a pandemic. The same applies to travel warnings from the Federal Foreign Office. Ask explicitly if you are unsure.
6. Tips for dealing with Indonesia travel plans
If you are dreaming of your next trip to Indonesia at the moment, you should definitely wait a bit longer with a booking. As long as the borders are not yet open to German tourists, it is difficult to rely on non-binding statements – as tempting as they may sound.
The entire Corona crisis has developed unpredictably and no one really knows what will happen next.
7. Have you already booked and can’t start your vacation?
Attempts to your stay, for now, cancel to move or the value of your book into a voucher convert. You can then redeem this as soon as possible when travel is possible again. This will help the locals to stay afloat during this time.
And above all, don’t forget one thing: think positive! No state is permanent and in the end, this time will pass and you will soon be on a plane to Indonesia again.