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No fakes: Travellers Must Now Present Test Results Contained in QR Code Upon Entering Bali

Are you flying to Bali?

Chances are, your destination might ask for or require a QR code on COVID test report or certificate. It is also likely that these COVID test reports must be provided by an approved laboratory.

If you’re flying to Bali, you have likely come across these QR code requirements. Travelers are currently being asked to or required to provide QR codes for travel to Indonesia including Bali. This includes travellers flying on every airline. In some cases, these QR codes might link to pertinent traveller details including demographic information, health records, or other documents.

In other cases, QR codes on COVID test reports might link to a digital copy of the test report itself, which may be used to verify the physical copy of the report at the airport. Either way, it is important that you comply with these requirements to avoid being turned away at your destination.

Although QR codes may seem redundant or unnecessary, they serve as a convenient tool for airport agents to quickly scan and access digital files, such as COVID test reports and certificates, for verification purposes. This helps facilitate the travel process, increase the accessibility of medical documentation, and provide increased medical screenings at the airport. Please note, however, that many destinations require you to obtain COVID-19 testing at an approved laboratory. Make sure to contact your destination’s local consulate or health authority to verify if you must complete testing at a specific laboratory or location. If not, make sure that the COVID-19 test you are completing meets the technical and medical requirements of the destination country.

Domestic travellers visiting Bali will now be required to present negative swab test results that come with a QR code to prevent fake documentation, as the province announces tighter restrictions to battle the ongoing national COVID-19 surge.  “Domestic travellers headed to Bali via air, land, and sea will have their [entry] requirements tightened,” Koster said during a meeting with other high-ranking officials in Denpasar last night.

Negative results from PCR swab tests are now the only acceptable document for air travellers visiting Bali, Governor Wayan Koster announced today, with other not-so-reliable COVID-19 test methods believed to have contributed to the infected slipping through the cracks and into the island. “So we are tightening restrictions at Bali’s entry points, [those] traveling with air transportation must use PCR-based tests. They can no longer use GeNose,” Koster said.

Results from GeNose tests are no longer acceptable for those traveling by land or sea either, Koster added, though rapid antigen swab tests are still accepted for travelers going by these modes of transport.  In April, Bali officials started allowing all travelers to present negative results from the locally developed GeNose COVID-19 test to enter the province. At the time, public health experts raised concerns about GeNose’s accuracy, and said it shouldn’t be used so widely.

Along with the newly announced traveling requirements, all negative swab test results must also come with a QR code to prevent fake documentation, Koster said.

“Because there have been many fake [and] paid documentation. So they have the results but they have never gone through a swab test,” he said.

The new requirements are applicable starting today, though officials are likely to implement a transition period for a few days before making it completely mandatory. The governor said Bali has seen an increase in domestic travelers in the last few weeks, averaging between 8,000 and 9,000 people coming in via air transport, while around 10,000 people pass through Gilimanuk Port daily. After about a month of reporting less than 100 daily cases, Bali’s daily count rose to triple digits on June 19 and has been climbing up since. Indonesia is battling its fiercest coronavirus outbreak yet, setting a new daily record just yesterday with over 21,000 cases.

The main points, as laid out in a statement issued today, cover several aspects, including increasing tracing, testing, and treatment, though more details are not specified. One notable change in the latest announcement is an updated requirement for domestic travellers visiting Bali, who are now obliged to provide negative results from either a PCR or antigen rapid test that must come with a QR code.

It is not immediately clear if there are confirmed or suspected incidents of fake documentations or undetected coronavirus cases, though it is not unlikely. Previously, travelers visiting Bali can present negative results from three COVID-19 test options, namely PCR, antigen rapid, and the GeNose breathalyzer — the last of which has been heavily scrutinized by many public health experts.

Other points include tightening health protocols across all public facilities and implementing random antigen rapid tests in highly active locations, preparing quarantine facilities, and speeding up Bali’s vaccination drive. The province aims to increase its vaccination rate to 50,000 people per day, or about 5,000 to 8,000 people daily at the regency or city level. Officials are seeking to fully vaccinate 70 percent of the Bali population by September 10 at the latest, while setting a deadline of July 10 to have that portion of the population receive at least their first COVID-19 jab.

For the recent update, the government continues to enforce public activity restrictions (PPKM) in all other provinces through July 5. Officials permit on-site staff at 50-percent in most zones. Shopping centers can operate until 17:00 daily; food establishments at these locations can provide dine-in services at 25-percent capacity.

Restaurants and food stalls located outside shopping centers may only offer takeaway or delivery services through 20:00. Authorities categorize localities with the highest COVID-19 activity as red zones. In red zones, authorities prohibit social gatherings and meetings and shut places of worship and tourism sites. Officials also limit on-site employees in nonessential industries to 25 percent. Essential sectors can operate at full capacity nationwide.

Travel RestrictionsAn entry ban for most foreigners remains in place. The government provides exemptions for high-level state visits and Limited Stay Permit Cardholders, among others. Permitted travelers must present evidence of a negative RT-PCR test result within 48 hours of departure and register on the eHAC app. Arrivals from most locations must quarantine for five days at designated facilities and undergo another COVID-19 test before release. Authorities continue to ban entry for all noncitizens who have visited India in the past 14 days; it is unclear whether any exemptions are in place. Travelers from India must quarantine at designated premises for 14 days. Officials encourage international travelers to download the PeduliLindungi contact-tracing application.

For your own safety please follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation.

Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Always follow the health protocols, such as wearing double mask, washing your hands and stay at home if you are not feeling so well. We hope that you will stay safe no matter where you stay right now.