Bali (Indonesia) (AFP)
Bali reopened to international flights from some countries on Thursday, including China, Japan and France, as the pandemic-stricken Indonesian holiday island stepped towards welcoming tourists.
But authorities in Bali, who have lost their main source of income as tourism dries up, said no international flights were scheduled for Thursday.
Foreign visitors must be vaccinated, quarantined in a hotel for five days and meet strict visa requirements under new entry rules for travelers.
“We are ready and waiting for international flights,” said airport spokesman Taufan Yudhistira.
“But so far, there is nothing planned today. “
Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport was open to travelers from 19 countries, including South Korea, China, Japan, France, the United Arab Emirates, Dubai and New Zealand, authorities said.
The partial reopening, however, does not include Australians – a key source of the millions of tourists who flocked to the palm-fringed island before the pandemic.
Indonesia has already been devastated by the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus – recording more than 56,000 new cases of Covid in a single day in mid-July.
The government announced emergency restrictions in the hardest hit areas, shutting down non-essential businesses and restricting the movement of people.
But the number of cases is now declining nationwide as the government ramps up vaccinations in the Southeast Asian archipelago of 270 million people.
Authorities have started to relax restrictions on a regular basis as the country sees a decrease in confirmed Covid cases and daily deaths.
© 2021 AFP