11. June 2020
Indonesia Travel Restrictions Easing
Indonesia travel restrictions easing is what I’ve been waiting for the past two months. Even longer than that. But it is true, things are happening now in Indonesia and you’re not the only one itching to travel. I know a handful of people stranded in Bali and they want to get out, see the beauty of the country and forget about being locked inside. Well, you are right to say that Bali did not have a real lock-down. Actually it did have, right after the Nyepi Day but it was a short term situation and followed mostly by the locals.
Fights for travel restrictions and against
Recently, there were some strange situations that seemed to delay domestic travel in Indonesia. But in the end, cool heads prevailed. The first event was Lion Air cancelling all the flights for an indefinite period of time. That was due to passengers purchasing tickets but not being able to show the required paperwork. The documents in question were not the Coronavirus Rapid Test or the PCR Test as one might think. It was the letter from “work” or business that was required in order to get on the plane. The government wanted only certain people to travel – namely government employees, medical personnel and passengers traveling for “essential business.” This “work/business letter” requirement has been cancelled as of June 11, 2020 and people can travel freely. Except for Jakarta where the SIKM entry/exit permit is still required.
The other exceptions for domestic travels are:
1. Coronavirus PCR is required for the following domestic destinations: Bali, Balikpapan 2. Bali Health Form is required for the following destination: Bali (Denpasar Airport)
The rest of Indonesian destinations accept either Coronavirus Rapid Test or the PCR Test.
Which airlines are flying to domestic destinations in Indonesia
Lion Air resumed flights to certain destinations on June 10, 2020. The other airlines seem to be operating as well. There are no Lion Air flights listed as of now 9June 11, 2020) on Tiket.com but I do see Lion Air flights listed on Traveloka website. Also, Garuda Airlines, Citilink and Nam Air, all have flights listed. Airfares are certainly higher than before the “pandemic” and Garuda wants to raise them even higher. As a side note, Tiket.com allows now purchasing the corona virus Rapid Test as an add-on when buying plane tickets.
Also, the regular trains will be open for transport starting June 12, 2020. Some restrictions apply – one that stands out is that persons 50 year or older would have to sit separately.
Which destinations are open for tourism as of June 2020
The truth is that nobody really knows. While the Indonesian president Jokowi and the central government in Jakarta have a list of touristic priorities, it also depends on the local governments. Some tourist attractions may still be closed until they have an opening plan. As per government requirements the attractions must offer a safe environment that would convince tourists to visit. Hence Indonesian travel restrictions easing comes at a price. But it has to be paid in order for the economy to stay afloat.
The Indonesian government is looking at prioritising the following tourist places: Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara (think Komodo Dragons Island), Borobudur in Central Java, Likupang in North Sulawesi, Lake Toba in North Sumatra and Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara.
Some of the tourist spots to ease travel restrictions
The government of East Nusa Tenggara (also known as NTT) has agreed to lift Indonesia travel restrictions and open the region for tourists starting June 15, 2020. Some of the major attractions to be opened are Komodo Island, Wae Rebo Village on Flores Island, Islands of Sumba, Alor, Rote Ndao, and Sabu Raijua.
Some of the beaches in Bali are open but the other tourist attractions are still closed.
Ragunan Wild Park in South Jakarta will open around June 20, 2020.
Mount Papandayan near Bandung is open as of June 11, 2020.
Belitung island flights are opening starting June 15, 2020.
Massage in Indonesia during the Pandemic
It is true that most of the restaurants, clubs and bars are closed now during the pandemic. Not due to the government requesting that they suspend their activity but mostly due to lack of customers. The situation is similar with the local massage shops. More and more now, the massage businesses now are moving to online booking where they can easier advertise their services. Here is an example of massage recommendations in Jakarta. Clients can scan the offer and order massage online.