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Bali and Morocco to welcome foreign travelers: What you need to know

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Feb 03, 2022 1:22 pm

International travel is gradually picking up as more countries, including the Philippines, have started welcoming foreign tourists after almost two years of closing their borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two more destinations, which are visa-free to Philippine passport holders, are about to reopen to international travelers—Bali and Morocco.

Bali

Starting Feb. 4, Bali will gradually reopen to all international travelers. 

Known for its beaches, temples, surfing and terraced rice paddies, Bali attracts millions of tourists every year. In 2019, it drew over six million visitors from all over the world. 

The tourist-reliant holiday island closed its doors to April 2020, devastating its tourism sector.

In October 2021, the Indonesian government reopened to international fully vaccinated travelers from 19 countries, including Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and China.

Ubud in Bali, Indonesia is famous for its terraced rice paddies.

According to its latest arrival protocols, foreign nationals will be allowed entry under the following conditions and requirements:

  • Tourists must present their vaccination certificate to immigration officials upon arrival.
  • Travelers are required to show a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 from the time of departure.
  • Proof of ownership of health insurance with coverage of at least $25,000 and can cover the needs for COVID-19.
  • Proof of booking confirmation and payment from the accommodation provider.

Tourists are also required to undergo a mandatory quarantine in a government-accredited facility or hotel at their expense, whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

Fully vaccinated foreign nationals are required to undergo five days of quarantine, while those who have yet to receive the full dose are to undergo a seven-day quarantine period.

According to the guidelines, an RT-PCR test will be conducted and if it yields a negative result, one will be cleared and declared “completed quarantine.” However, if the traveler shows a positive result, he or she will be transferred to a centralized isolation facility (for those who have asymptomatic or mild symptoms) or a hospital (for those with severe symptoms).

As of this writing, Bali and the rest of Indonesia is still following the minimum safety protocols, including wearing a mask and social distancing. 

Morocco

Traditional houses painted in blue and white in the city of Chefchaouen, Morocco.

Morocco’s bustling medinas, stunning traditional riads, fantastic Moroccan fare and the rolling sand dunes in the Sahara are waiting to be explored once again as the North African country is set to reopen its airspace for international flights starting Feb. 7. 

In November 2021, a full flight ban was imposed by the government in response to the threats of the Omicron variant. This move hammered the struggling tourism industry of Morocco, and drove tourists to other Mediterranean destination staples like Egypt and Turkey.

Following the strict border closure, tourists hubs like Marrakesh and Casablanca were almost devoid of tourists even during peak season.

Now, Morocco is ready to welcome back foreign travelers. Below are the steps that tourists must take to be allowed entry:

  • Travelers must present a vaccination pass and a negative RT-PCR test result less than 48 hours before boarding the plane.
  • Upon arrival in Morocco, rapid tests will be conducted. Random RT-PCR tests will also be done for some travel groups.
  • Within 48 hours of arriving in the country, some travelers will be required to take an additional test at their respective accommodation. Tourists are not required to undergo quarantine, but if one’s RT-PCR test turns out positive, one will be required to be confined in their accommodation or in specialized hospitals for treatment.

Morocco also implements general health protocols for most public and private establishments and transportation like wearing a mask, social distancing and checking one’s temperature upon entry.

Museums and cultural sites are open, as well as cinemas and theaters. Guided tours are also operational, and just like other tourism-related activities, safety protocols are strictly implemented.