Flying from Bali during the pandemic

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It was our fifth month in Bali.

We were happy to be in Bali, and would gladly have spent another 3-6 months on the island, if not for the new visa policy. It changed everything. Now we had to leave. And we had to find out, if you need a COVID-19 test to fly to Europe?

Do you need a coronavirus test to fly from Bali to Europe?

Sometimes you need a test to fly and sometimes you don’t.

It all depends from case to case.

Do You Need a Coronavirus Test to Fly from Bali to Europe?

If there’s one thing COVID-19 has taught us all, then it’s this.

Everything can change very quickly.

So, keep an eye on the updates from Indonesian immigration office (their Instagram) and your government, and on the news about all the countries you’ll be traveling through, especially if you’ll be stopping in any of them. If you have a connecting flight with one booking reference, mostly you’ll be fine, but if it’s a self transfer flight – it counts as a visit to that country.

You don’t need a coronavirus test, if the country you’re flying to doesn’t request it, and if you don’t have a layover in Indonesia.

Do your own research shortly before you fly.

The rules can change and most likely will change.

1. Situations When You Need a Coronavirus Test to Fly from Bali

At the moment of writing, you need a test in two situations.

If you’re traveling domestically first. That is, if you have a flight from Bali to, let’s say, Jakarta, from where you have another flight to Europe. Then you need a coronavirus test (rapid antibody test is enough). You’ll need to show a test in order to travel Jakarta.

Because that’s the rules when traveling domestically in Indonesia right now.

The other situation is, if the country you’re flying to requests a test.

For transit mostly you don’t need a test.

But if you have a self transfer flight, if you have booked several flights separately, then it counts as a visit to that particular country. And then you have to find out in advance, what are the entry requirements. And if you need a COVID-19 test to travel to that country.

2. Situations When You Don’t a Coronavirus Test to Fly from Bali

In the rest of the situations you don’t need a coronavirus test to travel.

If you’re flying internationally.

If you have a flight without any stops in Indonesia, and you’re going to a country or countries, where coronavirus test isn’t requested, you’ll need no test.

Because right now you don’t need a test to go to international terminal at the Bali airport.

What About Connecting Flights Through Jakarta?

What if you have a “real connecting flight”?

If there are two or more flights one after another, that you have booked as a one – and you’re stopping in Jakarta or elsewhere in Indonesia. Do you need a COVID test to travel?

In short – I don’t know.

At the beginning of July 2020, you needed a test.

A girl at Bali airport wearing a face shield
At Bali airport wearing a face shield

Our Experience Flying From Bali During the Pandemic

It was just a few days ago, at the beginning of August 2020.

Our flight was with Qatar Airways (Bali – Doha – Copenhagen – Riga).

Judging by the comments on the internet, our friends experience and by what we saw at the airport in Bali, it’s one of the two airlines you can rely on right now, if you want to leave Bali.  The other being Garuda Indonesia. Other airlines still keep on cancelling their flights from Bali.

So, our flight was with Qatar Airways.

And we went to their office at Bali airport to find out, if we need a test of any sort. And, if we need, then what test. Because, generally speaking, there are two types of tests. Their answer was simple – no. Since you are traveling internationally, you don’t need a test in any of your transit airports, and you don’t need a test in your final destination – Riga, Latvia – you don’t need a covid test to fly.

What else? What about the flight from Bali itself?

Your temperature is measured at the airport.

You should be wearing your own mask at the airport and on the plane.

And, something I wasn’t expecting, is that you are given a face shield, that you are asked to wear throughout the journey. You can take it off only when you eat.

The other thing I wasn’t expecting was that our flights were almost full.

In Doha airport
In Doha airport

What Kind of Test Do You Need?

Does it matter?

Yes, it matters a lot.

Because, generally speaking, there are two types of tests.

There are more, but these two are used in by far most situations. Some countries are ok with Antibody test (blood test), sometimes called simply rapid test, which gives results very fast. But others will allow you to enter the country only if you can provide a negative result of Swab test (PCR).

The latter one in Bali cost some 8 times more, and the results are in a few days (not in a few hours).

So, don’t put that aside until the very last moment.

These things may take longer than you expect it.

Swing in Bali, Indonesia
Swing in Bali, Indonesia

To sum it up – it is possible to fly from Bali right now, and often you don’t need a test in order to do so.

If you want the safest option, choose a connecting flight right to your destination.

If possible – take a flight without any stops in Indonesia.

And if you aren’t feeling well – please, don’t fly. Don’t put others at risk.


1-Minute Bali Travel Guide

When to Go to Bali?

June – August is the top season in Bali.

March – May is a good time if you want to avoid crowds. There’s more rain during the spring, but it’s also my favorite time of the year in Bali.

September – October is also a very good time to visit Bali. But it’s just that everything is more dry during this part of the year.

Where to Stay in Bali?

Kuta / Seminyak is close to the beach, cheap, but also crowded. Canggu is also close to the beach, but it’s more stylish and not so crowded. Ubud is a good point from to explore the whole island.

Kuta / SeminyakIbis Bali Legian (value for money), M BOX SEMINYAK (nice and cheap hostel).

CangguSurf Motel (value for money).

UbudLili House Ubud (value for money), Halaman Depan Hostel (super cheap hostel, nice owners), Wijaya Guest House (cheap, value for money).

What to Do in Bali?

Check out the Balangan beach and Virgin beach.

Visit Pura Gunung Kawi temple and Uluwatu temple.

Visit Ubud, Jatiluwih rice terraces, Nungnung waterfall and Sekumpul waterfall. Go cliff jumping in Aling Aling waterfall. Go on a mount Batur sunrise trekking tour (volcano hiking).

Go on a day trip to Nusa Penida and Ijen volcano.

How to Rent a Scooter in Bali?

It’s cheap. It’s very easy. There are a lot of options.

Starts from 50 000 IDR / day (500 000 IDR / month).

All about renting a scooter in Bali.

Book Your Trip Like a PRO

1. Book Your Flight

Find cheap flights using Kiwi.com, Momondo.com. Or subscribe to Dollar Flight Club, if you don’t want to be searching for the flights yourself. Momondo usually is my first choice.

2. Book Your Accommodation

Booking.com, Agoda.com and Airbnb. I use Booking and Agoda at least a dozen times a year, and Airbnb – when looking for a long-term stay. My best tip is to ALWAYS compare the price. Sometimes the same hotel is cheaper on Booking.com, other times – on Agoda. Always compare the price!

3. Buy Your Travel Insurance

World Nomads and SafetyWings are two companies I can recommend. World Nomads offers some extra benefits, that will be important for those doing some higher risk activities, while SafetyWings is significantly cheaper. SafetyWings is only $9.25 / week.


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