Is it safe to travel to Bali?
We will be posting regular updates to this page to keep you informed of the situation in Bali, Lombok, Lembongan and the Gili Islands, detailing the response to the Coronavirus on each island. As soon as it's safe to travel again, you’ll see it here first!
Jump to : Gili Islands News - Lombok News - Lembongan News
As this global pandemic is affecting travel in all parts of the world, current restrictions mean that at least for the time being, non-essential travel to Bali is not allowed. Bali and the surrounding region has relatively few cases of COVID-19 so far and authorities have taken measures to help prevent its spread, but if you're wondering when you might be able to travel to Bali again, you can follow our Facebook page @Gilibookingscom to get notified quicker and stay up to date with all the latest developments.
Last Updated: 06/08/2020
Cases overview in Bali:
Note: The Gili Islands have no recorded cases.
News for fast boat services from Bali to Gili
Good news! The Gili Islands are open for domestic toursim and the first fast boat services have resumed as of July 13th! Blue Water Express have announced a twice weekly run from Bali Serangan direct to Lombok Bangsal, Gili Air and Gili Trawangan. This is bookable on our website now, simply by using the search box. International toursim is set to resume in September, so for now, these fast boat services are for people already resident in Indonesia.
Temporary fast boat schedule to Gili:
Starting from July 13th 2020, the follwing shedule will apply on Mondays and Fridays only:
From Bali to Lombok, Gili Air and Gili T:
- Departing 11:00 from Serangan (south Bali) direct to Bangsal arriving at 13:30, after a brief stop the boat will continue to Gili Air, arriving at 13:50 and Gili T arriving at 14:20
From Gili , Gili Air & Lombok to Bali:
- Departing 14:00 from Gili Air, departing Gili Trawangan at 14:45, departing Lombok Bangsal at 15:15 and arriving in Bali Serangan at 17:30.
IMPORTANT NOTE: All passengers who have not already done so will be required to undergo a rapid test for Covid-19 at check in (taking 15-30mins, and remaining valid for 14 days) prior to departure, costing IDR350,000.
Travel Warning: Coronavirus in Indonesia
President Joko Widodo declared a state of emergency but did not yet call for a nationwide lockdown. Social distancing is required. Indonesia has banned all foreign arrivals and transits until further notice unless you have a valid work permit. If you arrive in Indonesia, you must:
- Be in possession of a valid health book issued by the Health Authority of the country of origin
- Not have stayed in the 14 days before the arrival in Indonesia in a country/territory seriously affected by COVID-19
- Declare to comply with a 14-day quarantine
Important: Indonesia has lifted domestic travel restrictions within the country, however is not expected to reopen to interantional toursim until September 2020.
What can we do to help the locals?
Indonesia’s tourism industry has almost entirely collapsed, so Bali and its surrounding islands are suffering from an immense economic downturn, putting many people out of work and under incredible strain. A way to help the locals is to consider rescheduling your travel plans instead of cancelling bookings and asking for refunds.
When it’s safe to travel again, consider buying more from street vendors who are likely to have been the worst hit, and if you can permit it - explore more of the region than you may have previously considered. Bali, Lombok, Lembongan, Penida and the Gili islands are all within easy reach of each other and offer something unique and worth experiencing. You can learn more about the region to help plan your trip on our dedicated Travel Tips pages.
If you are already on the island, think about shopping local products. Lembongan new Community Market is the perfect place to do your weekly shopping and support the Island. You will find fresh, local products and many handmade items. The next market will be held on the 9th of August!
Coronavirus in Bali
Which restrictions have been put in place for Bali?
It is hard for travellers to determine what the exact restrictions are, as there are nearly daily updates on the subject. To sum up, all governments and health organisations ask travellers to postpone unnecessary travelling during this time. Bali’s Regional Government has declared a state of emergency from March 31 to May 29, 2020. In response, the number of people entering Bali and the area through air and seaports has drastically reduced. Test screening are in place at Ngurah Rai International Airport and Gilimanuk Port.
From May 28, everyone visiting Bali is required to have undergone a swab test and obtain a letter stating they are free from COVID-19. The SWAB/PCR Test will only be valid within 7 days after test result. The document will be checked prior to the departure, at the airport. For those entering through the seaport, a rapid test result issued by a public hospital, regional health agency or other authority that declares a person negative for COVID-19 is enough. All travelers visiting Bali are also required to provide a statement of purpose and another statement from a sponsor, who is expected to be responsible for the traveler while they are in the province.
All citizens and tourists are asked to:
- Stay at home and work from home when possible.
- Follow simple measures such as social distancing, coughing or sneezing into the crook of their arm, or into a paper handkerchief, washing their hands 20+secs with soap or using alcohol-based hand cleaning products.
- Use facemasks, especially those who are sick or when outside the home
A penalty of up to IDR 100million and imprisonment of up to 1 year if regulations are not obeyed. There is no complete lockdown as yet, meaning food shopping and other necessities are still possible. Although most restaurants and bars are closed, some are offering a delivery and pick up service. Almost all the hotels in Bali have been temporarily closed. All tourist sites and attractions are temporarily closed, and major events have been cancelled.
Udayana University Hospital in Jimbaran is now operating as a hospital specializing in handling COVID-19 patients for Bali.
What is next? If everything goes according to plan, on July 9 we the first stage of reopening will start. This will not apply to education and tourism.
In the second stage beginning in August, the island will start welcoming domestic tourists. But this will only happen if the first stage was an unqualified success.
In the third stage in September, Bali will reopen its borders to international tourists. Please note that this is a plan, not a set time line. Travellers entering Bali via airport will undergo mandatory health tests. The province planned to establish tourism "clusters", which would be exclusive tourist zones. High level of health protocol would be implemented to keep locals and tourists safe.
Are the Gili Islands Safe To Travel?
The task force, together with the health agency, are disinfecting a number of main public spaces on the Gilis.
Before the fast boats stopped running from Bali to the Gili islands, health officials were performing mandatory checks at Bangsal Port in Lombok for all passengers on board. They took the temperature of foreign tourists aboard speedboats before they were allowed to enter the Gili Islands. This mandatory check was part of the country's effort to fight the coronavirus epidemic and has so far seemed to help prevent the virus from spreading significantly to the area. These kinds of checks are likely to be the case again once limited services resume, possibly in June.
The three Gili Islands re-opened on June 20, for domestic tourism. The Gili Islands will be the pilot project to start a "new normal" and will hopefully be an example for other tourist destinations in Indonesia. Tourists will be required to show a Covid-19 health certificate or rapid test result. They will also have to wear a mask. Strict health protocols will be carried out by hotels, restaurants or other tourism businesses.
Gili fast boat services during Coronavirus pandemic
Fast boats with direct routes between Bali, Lombok, Lembongan/Pendia and the Gili Islands are not operating at the moment.
- Blue Water Express - Starting a 2x weekly service from July 13th (see top of page for details)
- Freebird Express - not likely to be operating until July
- Gili Getaway - not likely to be operating until July
- Gili Gili Fast Boat - not operating until at least July 31st
- Scoot Cruises - not likely to be operating until July
Note that suspension of services may run beyond the above dates and you can keep up to date by following our Facebook page.
Diving the Gilis and Covid 19
Our friends and partners at Manta Dive on the Gili Islands can't wait to welcome back customers. They have been busy getting ready to reopen their fantastic resort and dive center in line with the Covid 19 health and safety protocols.
You can visit their Covid news page for more information on this, for diving updates and specifically to see the Covid 19 measures taken at Manta Dive.
As soon as the Gilis are open it's going to be a great time to visit as they just won't be as busy as they were pre Corona. The dive sites will be teaming with fish life rather than divers and it'll probably be more reminiscent of the late 90's, when life was a bit slower, than the last few years when the Gilis were booming. Don't wait to book your trp to the Gilis or you'll miss this fanatastic opportunity.
Local authorities are enforcing very strict measures to prevent spread, to a degree that is becoming very difficult for locals to obtain supplies. Especially smaller communities are struggling. Social distancing is required on the island. People are asked to avoid crowds and to keep a clean and healthy lifestyle.
Foreigners entry is temporarly not permitted (exceptions apply to diplomat, medical helpers or holders of a long-term residence permit). Residents coming home to Lombok are asked to enter a 14 days self-isolation. The COVID-19 task force is constantly trying to collect data from returning residents. They are spraying disinfectant to all hamlets and villages and even directly into the resident’s homes. They are also attempting to provide food supplies for those returned residents in self-quarantine, however, this is proving difficult to implement as normal supply lines have been effected.
Lombok International Airport in Central Lombok and Lembar Port in West Lombok, remain operational, although with drastically reduced flights coming in and going out.
Nusa Lembongan has implemented a strict selection process for inbound residents. They must first report to the Nusa Penida II Health Center and accept to follow 14 days self-quarantine.
Tourists are currently not permitted to enter Lembongan. All tourists still in Lembongan are recorded. Foreigners and local Balinese who still live in the villages of Lembongan and Jungutbatu are encouraged not to travel out of the villages of Lembongan and Jungutbatu. If they have left already, they are not permitted to enter the villages of Lembongan and Jungutbatu again.
A few restaurants are still open to sit in, take away or deliver. Please remember to avoid unnecessary contacts and to keep social distancing. Some tourist accommodations are still open but will require a health certificate from the country of origin, a health check-up at the government hospital and 14 days of self-quarantine. Managers of boarding houses are encouraged to not accept new residents coming from outside Bali.
If you had a fast boat booking for travel in the next few months or for other destination-related questions, feel free to contact us directly if you wish to reschedule your trip. We also invite you to consult our Terms and Conditions if you have any questions regarding a cancellation.