|⚠️ Important Update|
The following changes have taken place since this article was first published
The trip planning report below has been updated to reflect these changes.
Back in February, Bali reopened to tourists with the “Warm Up Vacation” scheme, which in reality was the kind of doublespeak Orwell would be proud of.
“Warm-up vacation is different to quarantine,” insisted tourism representatives through gritted teeth. Because tourists were allowed to move around their hotel and use its facilities, the argument went, this four-night quarantine, sorry, warm-up, was something else entirely.
Well, the market voted with its feet. The first day of warm-up saw only six visitors arriving, and officials quickly realised they weren’t fooling anyone. Bali’s real reopening was quickly brought forward to March with three PCR tests and a four-night minimum stay, reduced to two PCR tests and no minimum stay later that month.
I last visited Bali as part of the Mileymoon in 2019, and have been itching to see how it’s changed post-COVID. So here’s the game plan, in particular what you need to do before you fly.
|🏖️ Eat, Pray, Swab|
Travel to Bali: Pre-Departure Checklist
|✈️ Checklist for travel to Bali|
|*Not required for travellers who have recovered from COVID-19 within 30 days of departure and have a doctor’s letter or COVID-19 recovery certificate|
Setup PeduliLindungi app and verify vaccination status
In order to display your vaccination status in the app, you need to get your Singapore vaccination certificate recognised by the Indonesian authorities. The process could take a few days, so do it as soon as possible, even now if you wish.
Visit this website and create an account. Once done, you’ll be able to submit a vaccination verification request, which basically involves filling in information about your dates and doses.
Each dose requires proof of vaccination, but you can upload the same Notarise vaccination certificate for all three doses.
I submitted my application on 27 March at 10.25 a.m, and got approved on 28 March at 5.15 p.m.
After approval, the next step is to upload your verification status to the PeduliLindungi app. To do this:
(1) Update your PeduliLindungi app to the latest version (v4.0.5)
(2) Register and login with an email address or Indonesia Phone Number
(3) Tap on “COVID-19 vaccine” → “Vaccine Certificate” → “Claim now”
(4) Enter the following information
- Citizenship: choose your citizenship
- NIK: as Indonesia Citizen, input your NIK as stated in KTP and or KK
- Passport Number: For Foreigner, choose the country issuer and input your passport number
- Full Name: Input your full name the same as your submission at VaksinLN
- Born Date: Input your date of birth
- Vaccine Type: Choose your vaccine type as stated in the card
- Vaccination Date: Input with the date your 1st dose of vaccination
(5) Tap “Claim”
(6) You should now be able to see your vaccination certificate in the app
Take pre-departure PCR test
Bali requires a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 48 hours of departure, and do note the requirement applies to everyone, regardless of age.
Buy travel insurance
Travellers to Bali must purchase travel insurance with at least US$25,000 of coverage for COVID-19 medical expenses. There’s no need to upload this prior to travel, but you may be asked for it on arrival so bring the certificate with you.
I’m covered by my Singlife (formerly known as Aviva) annual travel insurance plan so I’m set, but those who need options can refer to the post below.
Complete e-CD form
All travellers to Bali must complete an e-Customs Declaration (e-CD) form, which can be submitted within 2 days of arrival.
Remember to save the QR code generated upon completion to show on arrival.
Book transport to hotel (optional)
After completing the on-arrival PCR test, you’ll need to head directly to your accommodation and wait for the results. Pre-booking transport is more a convenience than a requirement, but it sure beats fumbling with your phone to hail a gojek/Grab while surrounded by aggressive touts.
There’s no need to use your hotel’s transport provider; you’re free to take any private transport option.
I booked an airport transfer via Klook at just S$4. It seems almost too good to be true, but my understanding is that’s the going rate right now.
Book hotel for entire trip
While Bali has scrapped the need to book a CHSE-approved hotel, you’ll still need to show proof of accommodation booking for the entire duration of your stay. This can include guesthouses and Airbnb accommodations if so desired.
Nationals of the following countries are eligible for a visa-on-arrival at Bali airport.
|🇮🇩 Bali: Eligible Visa-on-Arrival Countries|
This costs IDR 500,000 and is valid for 30 days, with the option to extend it for a further 30 days. No prepayment is necessary (or possible, for that matter).
There is no visa requirement for ASEAN nationals, or those with an APEC Business Travel Card with Indonesia listed as one of the countries on the back.
If your nationality is not covered under visa-on-arrival, you will still need to apply for a visit visa (B211A). This is valid for 60 days and can be extended up to four times, for 30 days each time.
|✈ Eat, Pray, Swab: Flights|
|Cost: 32,300 miles + S$75|
For this trip, I paid 32,300 KrisFlyer miles and S$75 in taxes for 1x Business Saver and 1x Spontaneous Escapes Business award (I couldn’t book 2x Spontaneous Escapes awards because SIN-DPS is only available in Business Class for the afternoon SQ944 departure).
Do note that you can’t book a round-trip itinerary consisting of a Spontaneous Escapes and a non-Spontaneous Escapes award. You’ll need to book this as 2x one-way tickets.
SQ938/945 are operated by a B787-10. I’ve already reviewed the Economy and Business Class seats in detail, so I won’t be reviewing them again.
|🏨 Eat, Pray, Swab: Hotels|
|Night||Hotel||Per Night Cost (Nett)|
Because of everything that’s happened, hotels in Bali are going for rock-bottom prices. It’s a great chance to upgrade your stay beyond the lead-in category, since the price differences at most hotels are marginal.
Take the Conrad Bali for instance. The lead-in 45 sqm Deluxe Room costs S$103++, but a 235 sqm Pool Villa is only slightly more at S$228++!
Considering this room type normally goes for way more during regular periods, it was a no-brainer to book.
As a Hilton Diamond member, I’ll enjoy free breakfast, a room upgrade (though it’s hard to see what they can upgrade me to from here) and late check-out, which will come in useful for my 8 p.m departure.
I did consider other properties like the Amankila and Amandari of course, but those rates don’t seem to have come down at all!
|⚕️ Testing: Singapore-Bali Travel|
|🇸🇬 Singapore||48h before departure (PCR)||From S$90|
|🇮🇩 Bali||2 days before departure (ART/PCR)||From S$12|
|^Children aged 2 and under exempt|
Pre-departure PCR tests in Singapore start from ~S$90, and I bought a test for S$91.20 from TheTestingPro on Klook. They have a eight locations evenly distributed around Singapore, so it should be convenient enough for most.
I did mine at Canopy @ J-Link, and although the registration process was rather cumbersome (you have to fill in the same form multiple times), the results came back within 24 hours as promised (swabbed at 12.30 p.m, results at 5.14 a.m the following day).
Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long Term Passholders returning from Bali can now do a remotely-supervised tele-ART, saving them the trouble of finding a swabbing centre overseas.
Returning to Singapore
Returning to Singapore is simpler than ever before, thanks to the launch of the Vaccinated Travel Framework (VTF). Fully vaccinated travellers only need to complete an SG Arrival Card and take a pre-departure test, as mentioned above.
There is no need to take designated flights or apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass.
For the full rundown, refer to the article below.
Bali has been progressively loosening restrictions for visitors, and I’m quite confident we’ll see PCR testing downgraded to ARTs in due course (and then hopefully removed altogether for vaccinated tourists).
Here’s to a test-free process by June, allowing holiday goers to hop over as effortlessly as before.
Any questions about travel to Bali?