Australians could be heading to Bali before the year is out as negotiations continue with Indonesian Government

Australians could be heading to Bali before the year is out as negotiations continue with Indonesian Government

Australians in states allowing international travel could be jetting off to Bali before the end of the year – but there’s one thing standing in the way.

The Indonesian holiday destination has been closed off to Australians since the closure of the outbound international border.

Before the pandemic struck, Australians accounted for one-quarter of all tourists arriving in Bali.

But now, with international travel set to resume, a holiday to Kuta is edging closer.

The current obstacle is Indonesia’s quarantine requirement for arriving travellers.

Indonesia currently has testing and quarantine requirements for Australians who arrive.

Anyone who flies in must be tested for COVID on arrival and quarantine in a hotel for five days, according to the Australian Government’s SmartTraveller.

But Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said he and the federal government are working with the Indonesian government on reducing that requirement.

“At the moment there are quarantine requirements for people to spend up to seven days in their hotel room, which nobody is going to go to Bali to do that,” Joyce said on Friday morning.

“So the Indonesian government is looking at Bali, which is highly vaccinated, of doing something similar to what’s happened here in New South Wales.

“And if that happens, where you’re in the resort, you can spend a couple of days there before you get access to the general community.

“We will do something very fast, very big.”

He said Jetstar was the single-highest carrier for tourists into Bali, emphasising the holiday island’s need for Australian tourists to revitalise its economy.

Scott Morrison added he’d be seeing the Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the G20 Summit and would discuss the quarantine arrangement with him them.

Joyce said he hopes an arrangement would be finalised before Christmas or, at the latest, in early 2021.

He also announced on Friday the bringing forward of five flight routes from Sydney.

Flights from Sydney to Singapore, Bangkok, Phuket, Johannesburg and Fiji will resume ahead of schedule, it was announced on Friday morning.

The resumption of international travel will also allow thousands of Australian-based Qantas and Jetstar staff, stood down during the pandemic, to return to work.

Qantas flights to Singapore will depart on November 23, to Fiji on December 7, to Johannesburg on January 5, to Bangkok on January 14 and to Phuket on January 12.

The national carrier is also opening up a new route – from Sydney to Delhi – the first commercial flights between Australia and India for the airline in almost a decade.

Joyce said the resumption of flights was a testament to people who chose to be vaccinated.

“This is the best news we’ve had in almost two years and it will make a massive difference to thousands of our people who finally get to fly again.

“We know that Australians are keen to get overseas and see friends and family or have a long awaited holiday, so bringing forward the restart of flights to these popular international destinations will give customers even more options to travel this summer.”

Australia’s outbound travel ban ends on November 1 for states with 80 per cent vaccine coverage.

New South Wales has announced it is scrapping hotel quarantine for vaccinated arrivals from November, with Melbourne expected to follow suit.


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