Indonesia Travel Restrictions Suspended
Indonesian President Joko Widodo formally withdrew the policy limiting public movement (Pembatasan Kegiatan Masyarakat – PPKM), effective 30 December 2022.
According to the Singapore Straits Times, the decision by the Indonesian government to end policies controlling and limiting domestic activities and travel was taken after Indonesia had not experienced a significant increase in daily new cases for ten consecutive months. At its height, the PPKM Policy bought inter-provincial transportation by bus and air to a virtual standstill and, over time, required travelers to be fully vaccinated, undergo COVID testing, and submit to extended periods of quarantine and re-testing. (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
In abolishing PPKM measures, President Widodo said: “But, we need to remain vigilant . . .the public must independently take steps to prevent infection, detect symptoms, and seek treatment.”
News published by NIKKEI ASIA, under the title “Indonesia lifts all remaining COVID restrictions for the new year,” casts a spotlight on Indonesia, which once recorded the highest level of COVID-19 infections in Asia, but recorded less than 1,000 new daily cases over the past week, also reflected in relatively low rates of hospitalization and fatalities. (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
NIKKEI reported Health Ministry data that lists Indonesia as the fourth most populous country in the world and has recorded more than 6.7 million overall cases, including 160,583 deaths. Almost 75% of the Indonesian population older than six years, or 174.7 million people, have received two COVID vaccinations, and a further 68.5 million have received a COVID-booster shot. (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
Praise was also heaped on Indonesia by Free Malaysia Today reported a statement by President Joko Widodo that his country had conquered all impediments to preventing the spread of COVID-19 by ensuring that most Indonesians now carry the antibody against the virus.
In a press conference announcing the end of PPKM, President Joko Widowo said: “There are no longer any limits on meetings and movements.”
Also celebrating the end of PPKM in Indonesia, The Hindustan Times has published an article No masks, no tracking app: Indonesia lifts remaining Covid restrictions. (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
President Widodo said: “On Friday, (30 December 2022) Indonesia eliminated all remaining steps to control the spread of COVID-19. Effective immediately, this was done because the majority of the country’s populace now carried the antibody against this disease.” Adding: “There will no longer be any limitations on meetings and movements.”
With the President’s ruling, it is presumed that the need to present proof of vaccination to travel by air domestically has also been abolished. (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
Retirees Not Applying for 2nd Home Visas
The 2nd Home Visa, launched with much fanfare in late October 2022 and scheduled to become available on 25 December, has failed to attract any takers in Bali.
The State News Agency Antara reports that Anggiat Napitupulu, Head of Immigration in Bali for the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, confirmed that there had been no applicants for the new class of 2nd Home Visas filed with his office. (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
The new class of 2nd Home Visas is intended to provide wealthy foreigners the opportunity to obtain stay permits valid for 5 or 10 years without any obligation of employment or a requirement to own a business in Indonesia. The key requirement for a 2nd Home Visa is that the applicant must be able to demonstrate to immigration authorities that they have Rp. 2 billion on deposit with a Government Bank or can present a deed of ownership for a luxury property in Indonesia. (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
The government’s anticipation that foreigners living in Indonesia on retirement visas would quickly migrate from retirement visas to 2nd Home Visa has failed to materialize.
There are an estimated 6,000 foreigners living in Bali using retirement visas.
Speaking at a press conference held in Denpasar on Monday, 26 December 2022, Napitupulu said: “For Bali, I have not yet received confirmation that any foreigner has departed to Indonesia holding a ‘second home visa.’ 6,000 people in Bali hold retirement visas.” (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
Putting to rest widespread concerns that those on retirement visas would be required to convert their immigration status to a 2nd Home Visa, the Immigration Chief for Bali added that individuals holding retirement visas can renew and extend their current visa.
Those applying for a 2nd Home Visa must present proof of an Rp. 2 billion deposit with an Indonesian government bank or a property certificate for a “luxury” property in Indonesia. Within 90 days of the second home visa applicant’s arrival in Indonesia, they must present the supporting financial documentation to immigration from a bank or a certified copy of the land ownership certificate. (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
Police Mull 3-Tiered Motorcycle Licensing
The Indonesian police are revisiting long-standing plans to issue new “C-Class” driver’s licenses (SIM) across three sub-types. The appropriate SIM-C driver’s license class will be linked to the vehicle’s engine size.
- A SIM C License will be valid for motorcycles with 250 cc engines or less.
- A SIM CI License will allow the holder to operate a bike with an engine between 250cc and 500 cc.
- A SIM CII License will be required to operate a motorcycle with an engine of more than 500cc.
A spokesman for the National Traffic Police, AKNP Arief Budiman, said the differentiations for a SIM C Driver’s License are based on the need for specific skill sets depending on the size of the motorcycle. (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
The three classes of SIM C are outlined in Police Regulation Number 5 of 2021, signed by the Head of the National Chief of Police, General Listyo Sigit Prabowo, on 19 February 2021. That regulation has yet to be implemented by the Indonesian police, who claim more time is needed to socialize and enforce the new licensing system for motorcycles.
While police are mulling when to launch the three-tiered motorcycle licensing system, a national survey is now underway to determine the actual number of motorcycles with engine capacities greater than 250 cc operating in Indonesia. (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
As reported by Beritabali.com, police are also preparing requirements to be put in place to obtain a CI or CII Motorcyclist License. While drivers must be at least 17 years of age to get a SIM C Standard Motorcycle License, this age limit increases to 18 years for a SIM CI and 19 years for a SIM CII.
Also, to qualify for a SIM CI, an applicant must have held a SIM C license for 12 months. Similarly, to apply for a SIM CII, applicants must have held a SIM CI for 12 months. (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
These requirements raise the legal question if anyone is eligible for a SIM CII for at least one year from the introduction of the new three-tiered system. In other words, anyone desiring a SIM CII for a “monster bike” of 500 cc or more would need to park that bike for one year while they first obtain and hold the newly minted SIM CI for one year to meet the requirements to apply for a SIM CII.
Applicants for SIM CI and SIM CII are also obliged to pass a road safety theory quiz, undergo a motorcycle simulator test, and take a road test supervised by the police. A minimum passing score of 70 is required for the theory portion of the test. Those failing to obtain a passing score are allowed two separate retests within 14 days. (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
Indonesia Sets Tourism Targets for 2023
Speaking during a visit to Jembrana Regency in Bali on Thursday, 29 December 2022, Indonesian Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Sandia Salahuddin Uno, urged West Bali to strengthen its readiness for the onslaught of tourists that will result in the opening of a toll road connecting Denpasar and Gilimanuk. The Minister said future developments will help achieve a more equitable distribution of tourism across all Bali areas that are now overly focused on the south and east of Bali. (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
The Minister underlined how the new toll road scheduled for completion in 2025 would impact Bali’s development. Adding: “We need to get ready because Jembrana will be along the toll road connecting Denpasar and Gilimanuk. We must prepare a tourism ecosystem as many things will soon be relocating to West Bali.” (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
Commenting separately and quoted by Beritabali.com, Minister Sandiaga reminded his listeners that Bali remains foremost in the world’s mind as a tourism destination. He urged that Bali’s sustaining popularity be used to the optimum. Adding: “This is the basis of our continuing optimism; the tourism ecosystem and creative economy must be prepared, starting now. This is our homework so that tourism recovery takes place more equitably, emphasizing quality and sustainability.”
Minister Sandiaga said that the target for domestic and international tourists in 2023 is projected to double the current performance. For international tourists in 2023, Indonesia aims to welcome 7.4 million visitors, while domestic travelers are expected to hit between 1.2 and 1.4 billion movements.
Sandiaga said: “All tourism and the creative economy operators must address these (targets). Don’t let us get left behind! We must prepare to create new business opportunities that create the widest employment opportunities.” (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
High Winds & Rain Claim Trees in Denpasar
Balipost.com reports that heavy rains and strong winds experienced in Bali’s southernmost region on Friday night, 23 December 2022, uprooted trees in several locations in Bali’s capital.
The Head of Denpasar’s Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD-Denpasar), I.B. Joni Ariwibawa, said on Saturday morning, 24 December, that a downed tree on Jalan Sudirman in Denpasar, claimed the life of a driver Suwarto (39) and caused minor injuries to his passenger, Vebry Aberson Simarmata (23).
The BPBD responded to reports of fallen trees in locations that include Jalan Ahmad Yani Utara in front of Peguyabngan Temple in North Denpasar, Jalan P.B. Sudirman in front of the Santo Yoseph Junior High School (SMP), and Jalan Raya Sesetan, South Denpasar. (Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions)
The winds also upended trees on Jalan Setra Dalem Sesetan in front of the Sesetan Cemetery, South Denpasar; Jalan Pulau Lingga, Denpasar in front of Banjar Ambengan Pedungan; and on Jalan Malboro in West Denpasar. “These incidents were handled by the BPBD Fire Brigade in Denpasar and the environmental agency,” added Joni.
On Thursday night, 22 December 2022, the day before the storm, several trees also fell victim to the extreme weather, including a Weeping Fig Tree in Puputan Field in Central Denpasar. A tree on Jalan WR Supratman also fell, blocking the roadway that was eventually cleared by BPBD and Environmental Agency (DLHK) workers.
Separately, a division head of DLHK-Denpasar, Ida Ayu Widhiyanasari, ST, said that Angsana Trees (Pterocarpus indicus) are among the trees most susceptible to falling in wind storms. Because of this, city authorities said they would discontinue planting this tree species.
Trees standing in soil made moist by rains and floods often fall in high winds when their root systems become compromised.
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Main Article: Indonesia Travel Restrictions
Domestic Travelers in Bali – Latest Rules 2022
PT Angkasa Pura, the state-owned company that manages Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport, has published the new travel guidelines for air travel following a circular memorandum issued by the Ministry of Transportation (SE 77 of 2022) covers travel during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
The General Manager of Bali’s Airport, Handy Heryudhitawan, told Radarbali.com that he was assuring the public that there would be no obstacle to implementing the new travel guidelines. “Implementing the memorandum SE 77 travel regulations will not change passenger flows at the Airport, and there will be no backloads or accumulation of passengers or operational problems at I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport,” said Herydhitawan on Tuesday, 16 August 2022. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
From January to July 2022, Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport served 5,612,677 domestic and international passengers, with passenger flows continuing upward. Reflecting what has been labeled as “low season” and higher ticket costs, domestic and international passengers are now averaging around 20,000 each day, down from a daily average of 28,000 in July.
“I hope the new travel guidelines will not affect traffic flows at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport,” added Herydhitawan.
SE 77 sets the following new guidelines:
- Every domestic air traveler must use the Government’s online health certification application PeduliLindungi.
- Domestic air travelers aged 18 and above who have received a complete vaccination program, including a booster shot, are NOT required to present proof of a negative RT-PCR or rapid antigen test.
- Domestic air travelers aged 18 and above who have only received the first and second COVID-19 vaccine must show proof of a negative RT-PCR performed within 3 x24 hours of departures.
- Domestic air travelers aged 6 – 17 years who have received both the first and second vaccination are NOT required to present a negative test result from an RT-PCR or rapid test antigen.
- Domestic air travelers aged 6-17 years who have only received the first vaccination or have received no vaccination are required to present proof of a negative rapid test antigen performed within 1 x 24 hours of travel or a negative RT-PCR test performed within 3 x 24 hours of travel.
- Domestic air travelers aged 6-17 years who have not been vaccinated and are arriving in Indonesia on an international flight are required to show a negative rapid test antigen performed in 1 x 24 hours of travel or an RT-PCR performed 3 x 24 hours of travel.
- Domestic air travelers suffering from specific health conditions or comorbidities preventing them from undergoing vaccination are exempted from government rules on immunization. They must present proof of a negative RT-PCR performed 3 x 24 hours of travel. This group is also required to submit a letter from a doctor or Government Hospital stating the traveler is unable to under vaccination against COVID-19.
- Domestic air travelers under the age of 6 years are exempted from vaccination requirements and are not required to present proof of screening by RT-PCR or rapid test antigen. Travelers under the age of 6 years must be accompanied by an adult who has satisfied the COVID-19 vaccination and screening tests outlined in the government deadlines.
Handy added that vaccination service is available at a special facility at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport. This service has been open since 07 July 2022 and operates from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
Bali Hosts World Tourism Day on 27 Sept
Indonesia has won the privilege to be the global host of the 42nd World Tourism Day, which falls on 27 September 2022.
Quoted by Kompas.com, the Indonesian Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno, said: “For the 42nd edition of World Tourism Day, Indonesia has received the honor of being named host with the headquarters for the global celebration to be Bali on 27 September 2022.
The tourism minister announced during his weekly online press briefing on Monday, 08 August 2022.
Sandiaga reminded everyone how World Tourism Day for 2022 has adopted the theme of “rethinking tourism” that encourages the re-surveying of what constitutes quality and sustainable tourism. Meanwhile, the Tourism Ministry’s acting deputy for resources and tourism institutions, Frans Teguh, commented that the theme of “rethinking tourism” needs to be embraced across Indonesia. Adding: “As hosts (for World Tourism Day), we need to agree with other nations that we (all) want to encourage tourism enterprises to develop a tourism model that is people-oriented, quality-oriented, and sustainable.”
Bali’s role as the host for the global celebration also entails the hosting of related events. These events will include panel discussions led by Bali tourism practitioners on “Rethinking Tourism as a Key Element on Recovery” and “The Tourism We Want.”
In the run-up to World Tourism Day on 27 September, the Ministry of Tourism says seminars, competitions, community projects, and clean-up campaigns will be held nationwide. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
Bali Terrorist Umar Patek Early Release?
International media is focusing on the planned imminent early release from prison of Umar Patek (50), the convicted bombmaker in the Bali Bombing of 12 October 2002 that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians, 38 Indonesians, 23 Britons, and 53 others, spread across 20 other nationalities. At least 209 others suffered severe injuries in the attack. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
Patek’s release forms part of a long-standing Indonesian program to reintegrate into mainstream society former terrorists now professing a personal reformation. Patek’s proposed release at this time would fall just short of the 20th anniversary of the murderous attack and represents a total of two years’ sentence reduction for the East Java man. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
Channel 9 Australia quotes Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese: “This will cause further distress to Australians who were the families of victims of the Bali bombings. We lost 88 Australian lives in those bombings.” Adding: “His actions were the actions of a terrorist, and they did have such dreadful results for Australian families that are ongoing, the trauma which is there.”
The Australian Prime Minister is reportedly making “diplomatic representations” to the Indonesian leadership to discuss Patek’s planned early release and other issues, including the fate of Australians sitting in Indonesian jails. The Prime Minister said Patek’s release from prison is “abhorrent.”
The Indonesian prison system typically grants sentence reductions in conjunction with the Nation’s Independence Day (17 August) or on religious holidays. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
The head of the provincial office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, Zaeroji, told the Associated Press that Patek has received a five-month reduction in his sentence for good behavior and could subsequently be released in August 2022. Zaeroji said prisoners in Indonesian prisons are eligible for early release if they meet the legal requirements. Explaining: “While in prison, he behaved very well, and he regrets his radical past, which has harmed society and the country, and he has also vowed to be a good citizen.”
A former member of the militant Islamic terrorist group, Jemaah Islamiyah, Patek, was arrested in Pakistan in 2011 and extradited to Indonesia, where he stood trial and was convicted for his involvement in the 2002 bombing. In 2012 he was sentenced to 20 years for murder and bomb-making in connection with the Bali terrorist attack and a Christmas Eve attack on a church in 2000. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
The anger of many members of Australian society is disagreeably palatable. Erik de Haart, an Australian, who helped evacuate victims from the Bali bombsite, speaking on the Australian TV program Sunrise, questioned the Indonesian justice system that allows a man who has killed and injured hundreds, like Patek, to go free and the execution of Australian citizens Bali Nine members for simply smuggling drugs and who had demonstrated regret and remorse during their pre-execution imprisonment. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
De Haart added, “This guy’s responsible for the death of over 200 people, and he gets released early because he was a good boy in jail? Please. Anyone can pretend to be de-radicalized—but, at the end of the day, he made a weapon that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians. And, you know, 10 years? Is that enough? … He doesn’t deserve to be given a good-behavior release”.
De Haart has joined a substantial chorus of fellow Australians calling for Australia to take a harder line with Indonesia, including rejecting a billion-dollar loan being extended by Australia for COVID-19 recovery.
Jan Laczynski, a survivor of the bombings, interviewed by Channel 9, said that many Australians would be “devastated” by Patek’s release. “This guy should not be going out unsupervised, unmonitored,” he said. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
Bali Police Bust Online Gambling Racket
A police strike force headed by the chief of the Denpasar Precinct, Police Commissioner Bambang Yugo Pamungkas, raided a fourth-floor meeting room in an unnamed hotel on Jalan Kartika Plaza in Kuta Bali at 8:00 pm on Saturday, 13 August 2022, suspected to be the headquarters of an illegal online gambling operation.
When police arrived at the scene, the conference room was empty. Police seized four computers, four operating units (CPU), seven routers, and four handphones. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
As reported by Balipost.com and Beritabali.com, Police Commissioner Yugo told the press that police came to the location following reports from local citizens and the hotel’s management, who were suspicious of activities taking place in the hotel’s Orchid Meeting Room. Yugo confirmed that the Head of the Bali Provincial Police has ordered a crackdown on online gambling and that his officers continue reviewing the material gathered from the suspected gambling center.
The hotel’s management confirmed that the meeting room had been booked and used over the past several weeks. Police believe the party renting the conference room were locals currently sought by police. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
Travel+Leisure: Bali 3rd Best Island
Kompas.com reports that Travel + Leisure has published its list of the “25 Best Islands,” naming the Island of Bali as the World’s 3rd best.
In an online poll conducted from 25 October 2021 until 28 February 2022, the sophisticated readership of Travel + Leisure were asked to rate their favorite travel experiences, from destinations to hotels, attractions, and transportation providers.
The list of favorite holiday islands was based on Travel + Leisure reader reviews on the friendliness of native populations, local cuisine, tourist activities, panoramic views, and quality of beaches. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
The Travel + Leisure global list of the 25 best holiday islands for 2022 and accompanying scores:
- Ischia, Italy 94.61
- Maldives 94.44
- Bali, Indonesia 92.51
- Milos, Greece 92.50
- Fiji 92.38
- Galapago, Ecuador 92.00
- Phuket, Thailand 91.90
- Dominica 91.00
- Boracay, the Philippines 90.89
- Cape Breton, Canada 90.88
- Palawan, the Philippines 90.81
- Paros, Greece 90.62
- Azores, Portugal 90.48
- Phu Quoc, Vietnam 90.25
- Moorea, French Polynesia 90.24 (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
- Cebu, the Philippines 90.12
- Ibiza, Spain 89.89
- St. Vincent and Grenadines 89.79
- Madeira, Portugal 89.78
- Maui, Hawaii, USA 89.55
- Anguilla, UK 89.43
- Crete, Greece 89.40
- Mackinaw Island, Mich, USA 89.10
- Hawaii, USA 88.53
- Kiawah, South Carolina USA 88.49
2 Holiday Inns Seized on Kuta Beach, Bali
Teams from the Attorney General’s office have seized the assets of an Indonesian businessmam Surya Darmadi located across three provinces of Indonesia – Jakarta, Bali, and Riau,
As reported by Sindonew.com, Darmadi is currently charged in a corruption case involving Rp. 78 trillion in two separate cases. One is the result of allegations of malfeasance by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) involving the change in the status of jungle land in Riau. The second case alleges Darmadi, via his company PT Duta Palma Group in Riau, illegally usurped land measuring 37.095 hectares. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
In Bali, as reported by Balipost.com, Prosecutors have taken action based on a ruling made by the Denpasar High Court (Nomor: 5/Khusus/Pen.Pid.Sus-RPK/2022/PN/ Dps). Prosecutors seized a parcel of land held by PT Menara Perdana measuring 26,730 square meters on Kuta Beach occupied by the Hotel Holiday Inn Resort Bali and the adjacent Hotel Holiday Inn Express Bali.
Another parcel of land in Kuta comprising 2,000 square meters owned by the Duta Palma Group has been seized as part of the corruption case. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
The case also includes a 4,470 square meters parcel on Jalan Rasuna Said in South Jakarta, a piece of land measuring 9,271 square meters, and a building on Jalan Gatot Subroto in South Jakarta.
In Riau, the government has seized a piece of land measuring 10,944 square meters on which stands a building operated by PT Duta Palma in Pekanbaru.
State Prosecutors seized the lands in three separate provinces of Indonesia in a continuing criminal case for money laundering against businessman Surya Darmadi originating with his Palm Oil business (PT Duta Palma Group). (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
Gala G20 Cultural Dinner to be held at GWK
Bali’s iconic Garuda Wisnu Kenaca Cultural Park (GWK) Lotus Pond has been selected as the venue for the welcoming cultural dinner for at least 20 heads of state and related delegations expected to attend the G20 Summit in Bali in late November 2022.
As quoted by NusaBali.com, Andre Prawiradisastra, the head of marketing communication and events for GWK, told the press on Saturday, 20 August 2022, that preparations for the prestigious November dinner have reached the 80% level.
Among the items being prepared for the G20 Summit Dinner at GWK in November is the renovation of the entrance gate, creating new steep access roads. Andrew confirmed these three main preparatory steps with other projects, including CCTV surveillance installation and enhanced public area lighting. (Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali)
Various government ministries and agencies are helping GWK prepare for the big event. This includes the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing. Andre added: “Everything must be ready by September. But, by August, President Joko Widodo may come to check that all is clean and ready.”
Andre warned the public to expect the popular GWK Cultural Park to be closed for three days before the event, from 16 -18 November 2022, and 2 days after the gala dinner.
Main Article: Domestic Travelers in Bali – Latest Rules 2022
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