For those who's dreams of an Indo holiday this season have been hobbled by COVID-19 travel restrictions, there is hope. The Indonesian government has announced that the country's surfing ban will be lifted on June 20. Additionally, the Mentawai Islands will also reopen to the public on that date.
But before you go searching for cheap flights, for now the Mentawais will be only be open to people who are currently in Indo, including citizens and those in possession of proper visas. The government is not currently issuing new visas, but if you're in country right now and want to score, the dream is ripe in the Ments right now.
"With perfect surf, great conditions and very few people, it's a once in a lifetime opportunity and if you're currently in Indonesia and able to drop everything and pull the trigger, you're crazy not to come," reads a statement from Kandui Resorts. "If you're currently in Indonesia and have always dreamed of what the Mentawais were like before the islands were discovered -pre-1980s-there's never been a better time to visit."
For those already in Indo, here's the deal: to travel to the Mentawais you will need to get a "Rapid Test" from a medical facility before your trip. It's only valid for three days, so don't drag your feet getting to the docks in Padang.
Like so much of the surf tourism business, COVID-19 has taken an economic toll on Indo and the Mentawai Islands. The season is just kicking off and supporting the local guides, boats and businesses is an important first step in recovery process.
A loosening of travel restrictions to Indonesia is expected later in the year, but at this time the government has not announced any further plans.