The Big Story: Slow start as Bali reopens to foreign tourists amid Covid-19

Catch up on the hottest topics on The Big Story, The Straits Times' weekday online news programme.

Bali's airport reopened to foreign visitors on Thursday (Oct 14) for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic early last year. This comes as the government of President Joko Widodo struggles to restart the nation's valuable tourism industry.

However, strict quarantine rules and cumbersome visa requirements, including finding a guarantor, threaten to keep visitors away at least for now, officials said.

And as at late Wednesday, airport officials said there were no international flights scheduled to arrive at Ngurah Rai International Airport.

Regional correspondent Jeffrey Hutton, who is currently in Bali, gives the latest from the ground.

In a surprise move, Singapore's central bank tightened its monetary policy on Thursday, saying it expects rising inflation and aims to ensure price stability over the medium term.

In its tightening move, the Monetary Authority of Singapore slightly raised the slope of its Singapore dollar nominal effective exchange rate policy band, up from zero per cent previously.

UOB economist Barnabas Gan weighs in on this development.

And don't miss out on this week's Life Picks.

Travel correspondent Clara Lock shares more on Singaporeans' top picks among the 11 countries that are part of the Vaccinated Travel Lane scheme, while food correspondent Eunice Quek recommends bakeries in the Katong area.

Journalist Jan Lee talks about the award-winning show Hacks on HBO Go, which recently picked up Emmys for best comedic writing and direction.