Thousands of Aussies who have sought refuge for covid lockdown in Bali to be sent home if their visas run out
Thousands of Australians who took shelter during the Coronavirus lock in Bali will be deported within four weeks when their emergency pandemic visa expires.
There are an estimated 10,000 Australians who remained in Indonesia during the closure, consisting of 7,000 expats and 3,000 tourists.
Indonesia issued an emergency visa to those stranded by coronavirus locks in March, when Jakarta declared a state of emergency throughout the country of the archipelago.
About 10,000 Australians are stranded in Indonesia, and thousands in the tourist paradise of Bali remain on an emergency visa. They must leave August 9 at the latest
People are seen on a beach in Kuta as the government begins to reopen the famous tourist spot for Bali citizens as a phase of a “new normal” plan
With the free, automatic emergency residence permit, tourists were able to spend an additional three months in Indonesia during the closure.
These visas have already expired, giving permit holders 30 days to come out before August 9, forcing thousands to return from the tropical paradise that has just reopened.
The exodus may be complicated by Friday’s decision by the Australian National Cabinet to reduce the number of returnees to ease the economic burden of hotel quarantine.
The National Cabinet has decided to reduce the number of returnees from over 7,000 a week to over 4,000 a week, a reduction of one third.
More than 200,000 Australians have returned since the pandemic started in March, with about 28,000 in the past month – most of them to New South Wales.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison acknowledged that the temporary limit could make a return more difficult for citizens who are still abroad.
Pictured: Tourists on Kuta Beach, Bali, on Thursday, July 9. Just as Bali reopens after a three-month virus freeze, tourists with an emergency visa have to leave
The Consulate General of Australia in Bali recommends calling the emergency center in Canberra
“There will remain access to Australia, but the number of positions available on flights will be less, and I don’t think that’s surprising or unreasonable in the conditions we’re in,” he told reporters on Friday.
Returnees may also be asked to contribute to the cost of the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
The automatic emergency stay visa is only valid for 10 days from July 10, meaning Australians must now work out a visa extension or book a further flight.
Many Australians in Bali will not be able to extend their visas any further.
Some have a 60 day long stay visa, but the most popular visa for Australian tourists in Bali is the free Visa on Arrival (VOA).
Eko Budianto, spokesman for Bali’s regional immigration service, said the visa doesn’t allow for an extension.
Picture: tourists in the reopened Bali Zoo on Saturday. Bali is about to be shut down, but the emergency visas given to tourists for the pandemic expire on August 9
Boys play on Kuta Beach, Bali on Fridays. Kuta is popular with Australian tourists, now stranded
The automatic emergency stay visa is valid for 30 days from July 10, 2020. The VOA cannot be extended and they (Australians) must leave Indonesia, “he told the courier.
Budianto said that normal Indonesian rules are now back in force, including a $ 100 per day fee payable on departure – in cash.
An exceptional VOA extension can be offered, but only if a tourist can prove that no flights were available to return home.
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 9,553
New South Wales: 3474
Western Australia: 634
South Australia: 443
Australian Capital Territory: 113
Northern Territory: 30
TOTAL CASES: 9,553
CURRENT ACTIVE CASES: 1287
The Australian Consulate General in Bali Anthea Griffin has urged Australians in urgent need of help to call the consular emergency center in Canberra at +61 2 6261 3305.
The Consulate General’s website says its office only accepts essential arrangements because of the coronavirus pandemic and some services may be limited.
Travelers considering going to a third country are urged to check the Australian Government’s Smart Traveler website for the latest travel alerts and advice.
Daily Mail Australia has asked the State Department for Trade to answer whether limiting the number of returnees will affect the repatriation of thousands of Australians from Indonesia.
More than 1,200 overseas Australians have signed a petition urging the government to review flight restrictions, SBS News reported.
While there are restrictions on the return of citizens, New South Wales and Victoria still plan to bring in tens of thousands of foreign, paying university students, SBS News reported Thursday.
Both NSW and Victoria are working with the federal government on a timetable.
The NSW government plans to bring in up to 30,000 students in batches later this month, despite the decision to cut international arrivals.
About 120,000 students, or 20 percent of international students in Australia, have been blocked due to the pandemic.