With no money to undergo rapid tests, five men from Banyuwangi in East Java tried to bypass the medical certificate requirement to enter Bali and attempted to cross the strait using a wooden boat and via an alternate route, only to be apprehended by local authorities in Jembrana regency.


“They entered Bali through Pengambengan [fishing port] with a wooden boat steered by [the man identified as] S,” Jembrana Police Chief Adi Wibawa, said yesterday. 

The five men, who were apprehended upon their arrival at the port on Wednesday morning, were identified by their initials, S, R, AH, R, and AI. 

Authorities said that each of the men had different travel purposes, with R, AH, and AI cited as looking to work in Pengambengan village.

Sugriwo, chief of Negara Sub-precinct, said that the men were avoiding having to enter Bali through Gilimanuk Port, because they did not have a COVID-19-free letter based on the results of a rapid test, as is required by the Bali provincial government. 

Related – Travelers flying in to Bali must present COVID-19-negative medical certificate: official

“They cannot afford to pay for the rapid tests, [which cost] IDR350,000 to IDR500,000 (around US$25 to US$36), so they decided to use this boat [to reach Bali],” Sugriwo said. 

The men reportedly brought one motorcycle along with them on the boat. The police then handed the men over to the Social Agency and the Public Order Agency (Satpol PP), and they have been sent back to Banyuwangi via Gilimanuk Port. According to reports, they are required to provide official letters to take back the motorcycle and boat, which are currently confiscated by authorities in Jembrana. 

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