Indonesia cuts isolation period to 5 days as Bali set for reopening

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Indonesia to cut isolation period for people arriving in the country eight to five days as its resort island of Bali is set for reopening, officials said on Wednesday.

Bali’s Ngurah Rai airport will start opening for international flights on Thursday after being shut to foreign travellers for months as Indonesia battled nationwide outbreaks of Covid-19.

Bali’s Deputy Governor, Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati, said it has been decided that the quarantine period will be cut eight to five days.

Meanwhile, Bali’s tourism chief, Putu Astawa, said he did not expect to see an influx of foreigners in the coming days.

“The timing is too abrupt, may be in November we will start seeing more tourists.”

The Justice Ministry issued a decree allowing foreigners coming to Indonesia to make films to regular tourist visas.

Justice Minister, Yasonna Laoly, said the move is aimed at supporting “national economic recovery”.

Luhut Pandjaitan, the official in charge of pandemic measures, said on Monday that visitors 18 countries would be allowed to enter the country starting Oct. 14.

He did not name the countries but said neighbouring Singapore, which is battling a COVID-19 surge, not on the list.

Indonesia has gradually eased restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19 after a surge in coronavirus cases overwhelmed hospitals in June and July.

But in recent weeks daily case numbers have fallen steadily, dropping below 1,500 a day.

Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country with 270 million people, has recorded 4.2 million coronavirus cases, with more than 142,000 deaths.