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Jakarta Post

Bali to require COVID-19 swab test results for all visitors

  • Ni Komang Erviani

    The Jakarta Post

Denpasar   /   Fri, May 22, 2020   /   01:16 pm
Bali to require COVID-19 swab test results for all visitors Several 'pecalang' (Balinese traditional guards) warn a motorist for not wearing a face mask at Intaran traditional village in Sanur, Denpasar, Bali on April 27. (Antara/Fikri Yusuf)

Anyone with plans to visit Bali must first undergo a swab test and a obtain letter stating they are free from COVID-19 under a new policy issued by the Bali administration that will take effect later this month in order to curb transmission of the disease on the world-renowned resort island.

From May 28, everyone visiting Bali is required to have undergone a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, Bali Airport Authority head Elfi Amir said.

“We urge everyone and all airlines to ensure this has been done before flying to Bali, all passengers must already have PCR test results declaring they are negative for COVID-19. The document should be checked at the airport prior to departure,” Elfi told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

Elfi explained that a virtual coordination meeting had been conducted on Thursday to notify all related stakeholders of the new policy, including airlines.

The airport authority and the Bali COVID-19 Task Force will recheck the swab test results of all passengers upon arrival at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International airport.

Read also: Bali named among top post-pandemic destinations

If any passenger arrives without a swab test result, the airport authority will let the task force take action.

“We will also reprimand the airline for not following the regulation,” Elfi emphasized.

Bali Governor Wayan Koster sent a letter to the transportation minister on May 18, requesting the swab test results be made a requirement to enter the island through the airport.

However, in the same letter, the governor did not request similar a requirement for people entering the island through the seaport.

For those entering the island through the seaport, Koster only requested a rapid test result issued by a public hospital, regional health agency or other authority that declares a person negative for COVID-19.

The rapid test result and swab test result should be valid for at least seven days after the arrival day at Bali’s airport.

Bali COVID-19 Task Force executive chairman, Dewa Made Indra, reiterated that everyone planning to visit Bali must have the COVID-19-free letter when they buy the ticket. Visitors must also register at the provincial website, which will provide a QR code that can be shown when buying the ticket as a proof that the passengers are healthy.

The policy is required for everyone except flight attendants who only transit in Bali.

“The policy was made to limit people from traveling. So, for those who have no important and urgent interest, it is better to delay their trip,” Dewa said.

Read also: Bali's Denpasar to impose COVID-19 restrictions that keep businesses running

He explained that swab test requirement was not out of line. He said the administration was not asking for privileges or special treatment, but was only seeking to follow the central government’s plan to make Bali the first region to recover from the COVID-19 outbreak.

Dewa Indra said the administration appreciated the central government’s plan to make Bali the first COVID-19 free area.

“However, it is not a simple thing. It will be a long road as [the outbreak] is not over yet. Bali wants to tightly control who enters Bali, both Indonesians and
foreigners, because all people are possible COVID-19 carriers,” he said.

The swab test, he said, was needed to filter those seeking to enter to prevent further transmission on the island.

As the policy will come into effect on May 28, Dewa said all airlines needed to begin disseminating information to their future passengers.