Coronavirus: Thousands of Australians in Bali travel limbo as Indonesia changes emergency visa conditions

14-Jul-2020 Intellasia | 9News | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Thousands of Australians have been left in travel limbo in Bali after Indonesia announced it will end emergency stay visas handed to foreigners at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Immigration today announced the temporary visas many Australians have been using to stay on the island while the pandemic passes will end in just 30 days.

After that period, all foreigners without an authorised visa will need to leave Indonesia, unless there are no available flights to return to their home countries.

That could mean the 3000 Australians tourists currently in Bali on emergency visas and the 7000 Australian expats who have made a life there could soon be forced to leave.

Des O’Driscoll is one of the Australians desperate to stay in Bali after making the island his home 18 months ago.

“You’ve built a life here, dogs here, some people in relationships with locals not married still have to leave the country,” he said.

The 38-year-old is among many baffled by the move, as Bali’s businesses struggle to cope with the economic impacts of COVID-19 and with officials suggesting a possible reopening could happen for tourists in September.

“It’s quite scary, it’s confusing. You feel quite vulnerable,” he said.

The decision also comes as international arrivals into Australia are set to be slashed by half and returning travellers likely to be forced to pay for their stay in hotel quarantine.


Category: Indonesia

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