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Bali has something to offer everyone, whether you seek adventure or quiet time. For digital nomads, Bali is a top choice with its easy access to fast internet, work-life balance opportunities, co-working spaces and its thriving international community.

In this article, TruTrip’s product manager Ferdy Kurniawan shares his recent experience when travelling to Bali as an Indonesian citizen residing in Jakarta. If you are a foreigner looking to enter Bali during the pandemic, take a look at this guide for all you need to know.

Since entry requirements change from time to time, visit Covid Entry Check before your trip to get all the latest travel information you need.

Pre-arrival

What was the purpose of your trip to Bali? Please let us know the dates of your trip.

The purpose of my trip to Bali was for a short vacation with a bit of work mixed in it. It was between Sunday the 3rd of October and Thursday the 7th of October. I departed from Jakarta Soekarno Hatta Airport.

Were you restricted from entering Bali? If so, why and what did you need to enter?

As a citizen of Indonesia, no I was not restricted to entering Bali. However, there were additional documents that I needed to prepare. 

First I need to get an Antigen Test done 24 hours before my departure time. 

Doing an online check-in is also recommended as you would need to get your seat number for the next document.

Fill in your e-HAC (Health Alert Card), this is done through the PeduliLindungi App, and you could scan your boarding pass to instantly fill in some of the details. You’d need to fill in the details of your place of stay in Bali as well. 

Last is double check that you have your vaccine certificate available in the Peduli Lindungi App. 

Departure from Soekarno Hatta
Departure from Soekarno Hatta Airport

Were there many like you travelling to Bali?

Not so much, most of the travellers that were going to Bali seemed to be going purely for leisure. There were some solo travellers as well, but not much, most I saw were travelling in groups.

What was the pre-arrival process like? Was a permission, pre-quarantine, health declaration, testing, medical insurance needed prior to booking a flight or flying off?

So before travelling, I needed to be vaccinated and registered within the contact tracing app PeduliLindungi. Since I’ve been fully vaccinated, I only needed to get a Rapid Antigen Test 24 hours before the flight departure time. For the test centre itself, it is recommended to find a test centre that is registered and can display the test result within the PeduliLindungi App. This will help during travel since you wouldn’t need to bring a physical copy of the test results. 

On flight

What was the process like checking in and flying off from Jakarta?

Checking in from Soekarno Hatta airport was quite seamless, I was surprised that it wasn’t any much different than what you need to do before the pandemic. The overall experience was pretty standard: I dropped my baggage at the check-in desk, got my boarding pass, went through security, and boarded the plane. There was one additional check during security where you would need to show your proof of vaccination and test result, or show your PeduliLindungi App. 

What documentation did you need before boarding your flight?

Proof of vaccination (Vaccination Certificate), and the Antigen Test Result. But both of these should be available in the PeduliLindungi app under digital passport. When entering the airport vicinity, you would just need to enter your ID card Number (NIK) and arrival airport, you’d then get the status. If it’s green then you are ready to travel. If your test result is not available yet in the App, then you would need to manually verify the test result in a travel check kiosk. 

ready to travel to bali
PeduliLindungi ready to travel check.

What were the checkpoints you had to go through at the airport and immigration?

The only checkpoint was during security where you would need to show the green status of the PeduliLindungi App, or a stamp from the travel check kiosk, along with your ID or Passport. Besides that, there were no additional checkpoints until boarding.

Were you anxious about the risk of contracting COVID-19 on flight?

I was slightly anxious, this was mostly due to the passenger next to me sneezing multiple times during the flight, and kept taking off his mask to take a drink. Additionally, there wasn’t any seat distancing in-flight, the aircraft was at 100% capacity, and all seats were filled. However, I was prepared by using a NIOSH Approved N95 mask and hand sanitiser readily available. 

Upon Arrival

Can you share in detail what happened when you landed and the good / bad SOP you had to go through?

After my flight had landed, there was a checkpoint where I needed to show my e-HAC (health alert card). You could fill this in before you travel. It contains your flight details, where you are staying, and how long. Since I’ve filled it the day before, I would only need to show the QR code of my e-HAC, and I could go directly to baggage claim. Although I did see lots of passengers hastily filling out their e-HAC before the checkpoint. 

Did you have to bear the cost of the test, quarantine, etc?

There was no quarantine or test needed on arrival, so I could directly go to my hotel. The overall arrival process in Denpasar Ngurah Rai Airport was seamless. 

View from Denpasar Airport
View from Denpasar Airport

Post Arrival

How do you feel about travelling during the pandemic?

I feel relatively safe, especially with the vaccine mandate for travel and the precautions that I took during my flight. Using a NIOSH Approved N95 mask is highly recommended as there are other passengers that only use a regular 3ply mask. For the testing that is required before travelling, I don’t think it’s that much disruptive. You do need some time to research which test centre is connected with PeduliLindungi, but besides that, it’s not a huge obstacle.

However, it seems that I had forgotten the pain of travelling. My returning flight got delayed for almost 3 hours. I guess that with the romanticisation of travel that comes from lockdowns, I had forgotten the pain of delays.

What was your experience in Bali like? Were there many tourists and activities?

It was a different experience than my previous trip to Bali as I mostly stay and enjoy the Hotel itself rather than doing activities. Restaurants are mostly operating normally now so there are plenty of good eats. In terms of tourists, there were quite a lot of domestic tourists, but the hotspots of Bali seem to have moved to Canggu and Petitenget, instead of the previous Seminyak and Kuta.

Most restaurants that I went to didn’t require any reservations, and some even provide lunch/weekday discounts. Coffee shops are now thriving as they are the ideal spot for working in, especially when the WiFi in your accommodation is not stable enough. Both Grab and Gojek are widely available in Bali as well, so going somewhere on a whim is not an issue.

What was your work from Bali experience like?

It was quite interesting, it is definitely a nice break to work with a different view, looking at something other than a wall. There are cafes and coffee shops where you could definitely work for hours. During my trip, I tried working in Starbucks Dewata, it was relatively peaceful, and the tables are kinda set up for working as well. Oh but you do have to prepare a backup internet connection, as public or hotel WiFi might not be stable enough for meetings.

work from bali
Working from Starbucks Dewata

Do you have any travel advice for our readers and users?

Be at the airport at least 3 hours before your departure time, you have to expect some queues at the check-in and baggage drop desk, and queues for security. Besides that, use a NIOSH N95 certified mask, don’t take it off during the flight (unless it’s a medium-long haul flight), and always have a hand sanitiser handy. 


Get all the travel information you need with a single click at Covid Entry Check. We’re excited to bring people back together again through business travel. If you’re looking for a travel management platform that understands the new era of travel, give TruTrip a try or book a demo with us to find out more.

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