Here is Seeing The World In Steps reporting from Bali live! I have just arrived in Bali last night from Singapore and would like to get my experience out while fresh. Hopefully, this will be useful for Singaporeans who are intending to travel to Bali or my friends across the ocean who are looking to visit Singapore and Bali at the same time! Singapore Airlines is the best way to do so! I have also kindly arranged the various aspect that you need to take note of in chronological order. From the things that you can plan and sort out first, down to the e-CD form that you can only do so within 2 days before arrival. Do note that the information may not be up to date as government regulations regarding COVID-19 are constantly changing. It simply represents my personal experience when I enter Bali, Indonesia yesterday! It is certainly surreal to be back once again in one of my favourite places! Give me a holler if you are in Bali too!
Eligibility (Visa On Arrival / Visa Exemption – ASEAN)
From 6 April onwards, international tourists from 43 countries are eligible for a Visa On Arrival, clearing the path for tourism to resume on the island of paradise, Bali. There was a further relaxation recently and ASEAN nationals even qualify for Visa Exemption entrance! Woohoo! That’s 500,000 IDR saved! Travelling during the pandemic and a post COVID era already adds up plenty of additional costs and I am glad to see this being saved for us. With that, I can proudly say that short weekend getaways are finally back for Singaporeans to Bali! Well, I am certainly not going to pay for swab fees and visa fees in addition to my accommodations and flights for a Fri to Sun trip. Here are the nationalities that qualify for a Visa on Arrival:
Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor Leste, Tunisia, Türkiye, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Vietnam
Visa on Arrival is valid for 30 days and can be extended for another 30 days at the Immigration Office in the area where the foreign national lives while in Bali. That will cost another 500,000 IDR. For ASEAN passport holders who would like to enter via the Visa Exemption, the maximum stay is 30 days and cannot be extended. You can also visit under a B211A visit visa beforehand or if you have an APEC card with Indonesia approved.
COVID-19 Vaccination & Verify Vaccination Status
All travellers travelling to Bali must be fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine. You do not need to have a booster jab. Quarantine free entry will be offered for those who have received the complete dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before departure. You must show a vaccination card or certificate which can be physical or digital. All types and brands of vaccines are accepted. This should not be a concern for anyone.
Prior to entering, you also have to get your vaccination certificate verified by the authorities and you can check how to do so here. It is fairly straightforward and when I did so earlier in the month, it took me about 3 days to get it verified. Do plan ahead and get this out of the way, given the huge travel demand now, I can only assume that it will take longer rather than shorter. Once approved, they will email you!
COVID-19 PCR Pre-Departure Test
While testing for travelling is the norm going ahead for the foreseeable future, Indonesia still requires a PCR test instead of an ART. A PCR adds up lots of stress personally since the turnaround for the test is pretty long and your results are only valid for a limited time. To enter Bali, you will need to show a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of your departure time. Furthermore, PCR tests are more costly. I choose to take mine via Raffles Medical and they have tons of clinics and testing locations all over Singapore! The one at Changi Airport Terminal 3 is even open 24 hours. You can book your test thru Collinson X SIA collaboration. After applying the promo code (SIARMGPCR) a PCR test cost 97.75 SGD. You can get cheaper ones around or hunt for deals but Raffles work best for me given the location and the timing.
Setup PeduliLindungi App
This is technically TraceTogether, Indonesia version! Just download and install the PeduliLindungi mobile app from Google Play Store or App Store (iOS) and then complete the relevant steps. Once your vaccination verification has been done above and approved you can also “Check Certification” and retrieve your vaccination on the app.
Overseas Travel Insurance
There is now travel insurance to get that covers COVID expenses and many places require them. To be honest, this is not a time to scrimp on insurance given the uncertainty. Bali authorities require at least 25,000 USD of COVID related cover. I have an annual plan for Aviva or Singlife and that is more than sufficient to meet the requirement. It cost me around 450 SGD for a worldwide annual plan. Do take a look at it if you are keen. If you are just looking at a single trip plan you can even get it from Grab or even from Bali authorities themself. They have an insurance policy known as Jagawista that cost 500,000 IDR and offers 500,000,000 IDR of coverage! My recommendation is to get something from where you are located! I am not sure how easy it will be to claim from them if really something happens.
You also have to complete the e-CD form within 2 days before arrival and do remember to save the QR code generated after completion. It might be a good idea to use your smartphone for this since you can easily just screenshot and save it as a picture.
17 April 2022 – 10.25pm
I went to a raffles medical clinic to take my pre-departure PCR test. Regulations in Indonesia mean that I will need a negative PCR test 48 hours before my flight departure and I am departing on SQ944 at 4.10pm on 19 April. It was a pretty long wait for the swab given how busy the clinic was! I am certainly not expecting this when it is this late in the evening!
First, you got to scan a QR code for a health declaration, then another QR code for registration. You will then get your queue number. I wait for my name to be called and they will register all my details. Do take note and check all your personal particulars. Name, Date of Birth, Passport Number, all of these are especially important. Then I waited for my name to be called and got swab in a room. The swab wasn’t painful but super deep and invasive. Oh well, a little suffering for the name of travel. All in all, I waited for around 40 mins, from the point I arrive till I was done with my swab.
18 April – 6.19pm
I got the all-clear to travel to Bali! My negative PCR result was reflected in TraceTogether, HealthHub and emailed to me. The certs are automatically notarised by Raffles Medical.
19 April – 11.00am
At Changi once I arrived at around 11am, I went to check in for my flight at Changi Airport Terminal 3 Row 7, the dedicated business class check in counters for Singapore Airlines. You can certainly see how travel has recovered given how there is a queue here now. I have never waited this long at Changi Airport before. All I was asked was to show my negative PCR results. Either a physical or virtual copy is fine.
19 April – 3.30pm
Arrived at the gate for my flight departing to Bali on SQ 944. No other checks and documents are required. The usual process applies.
19 April – 6.42pm
My flight landed around 6.42pm and we pulled up to the gate by 6.45pm. We disembarked barely 5 minutes later and after bidding the crew goodbye, I made my way toward the various checkpoints. A tip here is to walk briskly and try to connect your phone to the airport wifi or engage your data plan if you have roaming. It was decent arriving at this hour and the airport was literally empty. First up was a checkpoint where you had to open your PeduliLindungi to scan the QR code, just like our safe entry. You need to activate Bluetooth and a working internet connection.
Then you go thru a temperature screening checkpoint. Just walk by and if you are selected for secondary screening that means a PCR test on arrival. After that, you will proceed to one of the counters and there are a lot of them. Here I was asked to provide my boarding pass and my passport as well as my negative PCR test results. I do not have to queue for the Visa on Arrival counter and proceed straight thru immigration as per the usual. After collecting your baggage you will proceed to customs and this is where you have to show the QR code you save after completing the e-CD form beforehand.
19 April – 7.12pm
I was out of the airport by 7.12pm. In total, it took me 30 mins from the moment I disembark to heading out of the terminal and waiting for my cab/grab at the airport. Taking into account the slight delay for my bags to arrive. From here it’s a short journey to the first accommodation of my trip! The iconic Hilton Garden Inn Bali Ngurah Rai Airport that’s popular among Hilton members. Not a bad experience getting to Bali! All I hope is that in the near future the pre-departure PCR test gets downgraded to an ART test. That will save you close to a good 100 pops, making Bali weekends getaway more like the past and within budget.
I hope that this will be useful for everyone who is looking to travel to Bali! I will be there at least for the next month or so! Do hit me up if anyone is looking to travel to Bali and would like to hang out! I am always up for a Bintang by the beach or simply lazing by the pool! Follow my travels on @seeingtheworldinsteps