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Dream destinations: Bali and the Maldives loosen COVID-19 entry restrictions

March 08, 2022
4 min read
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, Hindu temple on Bratan lake landscape, one of famous tourist attraction in Bali, Indonesia
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Two popular tourist destinations in the Indian Ocean are following the trend of removing pandemic-related requirements to make it easier for visitors to travel there.

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On March 5, the Maldives dropped its requirement to present a negative PCR test on arrival. Now visitors to the island nation, which is popular with honeymooners and known for its overwater bungalows, can present a declaration of health 48 hours prior to departure and they will be issued a free 30-day tourist visa on arrival.

Bali, an island located east of the Maldives in Indonesia, announced it was dropping its quarantine requirement for visitors from 23 countries, including the U.S., on March 7. You must still be vaccinated and take a COVID-19 test before arrival, but you no longer have to quarantine for three to five days after arriving.

Rules for entering the Maldives

Last year, some islands in the Maldives archipelago were placed on lockdown when coronavirus cases rose in early spring. Visitors, including Americans, had to present a negative result from a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 96 hours of their departure. This is no longer required with the new rules.

Overwater bungalows in the Maldives. (Photo by Lifestyle Travel Photo/Shutterstock)

Related: Maldives reopening

The Maldives is currently under a "Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19" advisory from the CDC, but so are more than half of the world's countries. For news on resorts and tourist facilities that are open on the islands, check here for updates.

Related: CDC adds more countries to its 'Do Not Travel' list

You can get to the Maldives on Emirates by connecting through Dubai, and Etihad has resumed flights from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Turkish Airlines also offers service to the Maldives.

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Entry requirements for Bali

Diamond Beach in Nusa Penida, Bali. (Photo by Nora Carol Photography/Getty Images)

Now that Bali is no longer requiring quarantine at your own expense, visitors are more likely to make plans to visit this destination. Indonesia has been opening gradually, but had a number of false starts. It first reopened on Oct. 14, 2021, but visitors from the U.S. were not allowed. They finally opened their doors to U.S. residents on Feb. 4.

Related: Bali, the Island of the Gods, sees flights with international mortals finally arriving after a 2-year hiatus

Indonesia is currently under the "Level 3: COVID-19 High" warning from the CDC. Travelers must be fully vaccinated and show negative results from a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure.

Previously, tourists had been required to quarantine for five days (three days if boosted) at a certified hotel at their own expense. That restriction has now been lifted. Visitors must still fill out a short-visit visa and show proof of international health insurance with minimum coverage of $25,000 including, but not limited to, COVID-19-related treatment and hospitalization in Indonesia.

Bottom line

Overwater bungalows in the Maldives. (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

The lowered requirements for entering both Bali and the Maldives will make them easier to access for travelers, though testing requirements are still in place for Bali. However, if one of these long-haul destinations is on your bucket list or if you're planning a wedding now that the pandemic has eased, these are two great honeymoon destinations. Also, rules may loosen even more by the time you get there if the trend continues. For the most up-to-date rules on traveling, see our country-by-country guide.

Featured image by (Photo by sutthinon sanyakup / Getty Images)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023