What Happened in the Infamous Bali Face Mask Prank

How Breaking Laws Can Get You Deported Like in Bali’s Face Mask Incident

The face mask prank isn’t the only case of foreigners violating COVID-19 rules on the island.

Violating a foreign country’s rules is inherently bad. But there’s a lot more weight to it when it’s done solely for fun while the world is in a health crisis. This is exactly the case of one of two Bali face mask pranksters who got deported for breaking an important safety precaution during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also read: Southeast Asia — Home of Tropical Wonders and Fake Swab Test Travellers

What happened in the Bali face mask incident

Josh Paler Lin is a Taiwanese YouTuber who is based on the world-famous Indonesian island of Bali. On 22 Apr 2021, he posted a video that showed his girlfriend and Russian influencer Leia “Lisha” Se in a local supermarket. The two tried to enter with only Lin wearing a face mask, but were unsuccessful due to Indonesia’s COVID-19 protocols.

In their next attempt, Se is seen wearing a fake surgical mask after Lin painted it using makeup in their car. This time, the content creators were able to go into the store without almost anyone, not even the security guard and other shoppers, noticing. Both are also heard boasting about their stunt while inside the establishment.

Josh Paler Lin and Lisha Se

Screenshot from Josh Paler Lin.

However, the rest of Bali were displeased. Immediately after the video was shared, locals called out Lin and Se for intentionally pulling off such an irresponsible act. Among them was Balinese politician, Niluh Djelantik. Worse, the couple had the world see it as though it was okay to violate an indispensable safety rule amid the pandemic.

Se was deported from Bali on 5 May for being the one caught without a mask in a public space. Meanwhile, Lin remains on the island. The original Bali face mask prank video is no longer accessible on his YouTube channel. Having said that, you can watch a reuploaded version on this account.

Also read: 13 Worst Travel Habits You Could Have With An Ongoing Pandemic

The cost of breaking rules for fun

The Bali face mask prank isn’t the only incident of foreigners violating COVID-19 rules in Indonesia. But it definitely takes the cake for being one of the few ones deliberately done for fun.

“I made this video to entertain people because I’m a content creator and it’s my job to entertain people,” Lin told his viewers in an apology video. “However, I did not realise that what I did could actually bring a lot of negative comments… and raise a lot of concerns.”

Deported Bali Tourists

Screenshot from Josh Paler Lin.

It’s this very intention that urged Balinese authorities to deport Se, even though Bali’s rules indicate that only second-time offenders are subject to the sanction. It was the first documented case of the couple breaking an important COVID-19 precautionary measure. Normally, those who break the rule once face a Rp1 million (S$93) penalty fee.

Se’s deportation also aligns with Indonesia’s Immigration Law Number 6 Year 2011. This was emphasised by Jamaruli Manihuruk, the regional office head of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights Bali. The policy states that foreign nationals who do not comply with local Indonesia regulations are to be deported.

Via Coconuts Bali, Bali Governor Wayan Koster further warned international visitors to comply with Indonesia’s rules. “I want to underline that we will never tolerate anyone, including foreign nationals, who violate health protocols,” Koster, who also pushed for Se’s deportation, said.


Featured image credit: anyaberkut via Canva Pro

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Joser Ferreras
Joser Ferreras

Joser writes about travel, people, and business. A former researcher, he wants to debunk the old saying 'write what you know' by acknowledging that good content is also the outcome of one's openness to learn something new.

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