Get us in your inbox

Photograph: Shutterstock

Bali will not reopen to tourists until 2021

The Indonesian government had planned to reopen the island in September – but will now wait until next year

Huw Oliver

So far the majority of countries across Europe – and a great deal across the Caribbean – have starting welcoming tourists again. But many other nations are taking a more cautious approach to reopening their borders. South Africa, Australia and Thailand have all suggested they will not restart tourism until early 2021.

The Indonesian island of Bali had announced last month that it would reopen to international travellers from September. Yesterday, however, the island’s governor announced that it too would keep its borders closed until next year due to rising numbers of cases across the country.

‘The Indonesian government couldn’t reopen its doors to foreign travellers until the end of 2020 as we remain a red zone,’ I Wayan Koster said in a statement. ‘The situation is not conducive to allowing foreign tourists to come to Indonesia, including to Bali.’

Koster had previously set out a staged plan to revive the island’s huge tourism economy, with domestic travel starting again on July 31 and international visitors due to be allowed in from September 11. That reopening date has now been pushed back at least four months.

It comes after Indonesia’s tourism ministry said in May that it would embark on a huge promotional campaign in an effort to ‘revitalise’ its major destinations from June.

The Balinese economy depends almost entirely on visitors and its economy shrunk in the first three months of the year. However, Ni Wayan Giri Adnyani, the country’s tourism secretary, has said she hopes the new campaign will help visitor numbers return to normal at some point in 2021.

With its aquamarine waters, thriving coral reefs and endless beachside surf huts, Bali is a picture-postcard tropical hideaway. And while you can’t quite go ahead and plan a holiday there just yet, you can at least pencil in a trip. The way things are going, we suggest 2022.

Remember, many countries are still warning against all non-essential travel and some are quarantining all overseas arrivals, including their own returning citizens. Check all the relevant restrictions before you think about travelling.

Where can you travel right now? Here’s what you need to know.

How safe is flying right now? We asked an expert.

Latest news