Authorities in Bali have arrested a foreign tourist who had allegedly been living at the airport after he became stranded on the island a month ago.
The Russian national has been unable to return home due to travel restrictions and a lack of available flights, Coconuts Bali reported.
Authorities said he sought shelter in an empty lot at Ngurah Rai International Airport, where he was arrested this week.
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“The person violated a local regulation, so now immigration will take him,” said I Gusti Agung Kerta Suryanegara, the head of the Public Order Agency in Badung regency, according to the outlet.
“Afterwards he will be deported, back to his home country.”
Mr Suryanegara said the tourist had been living like a “hobo”.
“Maybe he has money, but (he’s reluctant to) rent a place because there’s no flight to Russia. Hopefully after this the Russian Consulate will help,” he said.
Coconuts Bali reported that the Indonesian government had granted automatic extensions of stay permits for foreign travellers whose flight options became limited when the pandemic saw air travel grind to a halt in March.
But new requirements for foreign nationals came in effect this week under the government’s “new normal” immigration policy.
Many foreign tourists have become stuck overseas due to lockdown measures and the scarcity of international flights during the pandemic, and some have resorted to living in airports to see through the crisis.
Last week, a man from Estonia told how he had spent more than 100 days trapped at Manila International Airport when authorities stopped issuing visas for entry into the Philippines.
The roadblock meant Roman Trofimov had to live in the airport – sleeping on the terminal floor, eating in the food court, and washing in the public bathrooms – until the Estonian consulate was able to have him transferred to a passenger lounge on April 1.
He was finally returned to Estonia last week.