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Bali now open to tourists from 19 countries

Jakarta (CNN) – The Indonesian islands of Bali and Riau reopen their doors to visitors from 19 countries from Thursday, according to the country’s Minister of Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Panjaitan.

“We have authorized 19 countries to travel to Bali and the Riau Islands,” Luhut said at a meeting in Jakarta on Wednesday.

The countries are: China, India, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Liechtenstein, Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Poland, Hungary and Norway.

The United States is not yet on the approved list.

Tourist visas must be obtained in advance.

Countries were chosen based on data showing low rates of positivity, Luhut said.

Travelers from countries can enter Bali and the Riau Islands as long as they meet pre and arrival requirements, Luhut said.

Eligible travelers must be fully immunized with a second vaccine taken at least 14 days before traveling to Indonesia, have insurance coverage for Covid-19 treatment worth at least US $ 100,000, and pay their own accommodation for a five-day quarantine period.

“One of the reasons for the optimism behind the preparation of Bali was due to the fact that the vaccination against Covid-19 had reached 99% for the first dose and 90% for the second dose,” said Henky Hotma P. Manurung, said, according to a report by state media Antara.

Luhut added that the reopening will be evaluated periodically and that “this list of 19 countries specifically only applies to direct flights to Bali and the Riau Islands.”

He hopes the implementation will boost Bali’s tourism dependent economy. It is estimated that 54% of the island’s income comes from the tourism industry.

Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport (DPS) in Denpasar is ready to accommodate international arrivals on Thursday, Taufan Yudhistira, head of stakeholder relations at the Ngurah Rai International Airport Authority, told CNN.

However, no international flights are expected to land there yet, Yudhistira said.

Ngurah Rai Airport in Bali, Indonesia photo by AP / Firdia Lisnawati