Bali is reassuring tourists not to panic over reports the Indonesian government would ban sex outside marriage on the holiday island.

Amendments to Indonesia's criminal code, revealed last week, would make extramarital sex illegal and punishable with jail time — and there would be no exception made for holiday-makers, including the one million Australians who visited Bali every year, reports news.com.

But the Bali Hotels Association is now telling tourists to "stay calm and continue their activities (or planned activities) as usual".

Balinese tourism operators feared tourists would be scared off by the proposed Adultery Act, prompting Indonesian President Joko Widodo to indefinitely postpone the legislative changes, AAP reported.

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"Based on various feedback, the President of the Republic of Indonesia and the Indonesian Parliament have agreed to indefinitely postpone the bill with those new regulations," the hotels association said in a statement.

Australia warned its tourists could soon be charged for having sex outside marriage. Photo / Getty Images
Australia warned its tourists could soon be charged for having sex outside marriage. Photo / Getty Images

It said the Adultery Act was "still a recommendation and has not yet formally been issued and cannot be enforced".

While New Zealand has not updated its travel advisories to Indonesia since July 30th, the bill did move other countries to issue warnings to their citizens before visiting the country.

Australia updated its travel advice for Indonesia and warned tourists could soon be charged for having sex outside marriage.

"A large number of laws may change and these will also apply to foreign residents and visitors, including tourists," the Department of Foreign Affairs posted to the Smartraveller website on Friday.

The amendments to Indonesia's criminal code would also make it illegal for couples to live together outside marriage.


The changes would impact women's rights, religious minorities and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

"Indonesia's draft criminal code is disastrous not only for women and religious and gender minorities but for all Indonesians," Andreas Harsono, senior Indonesia researcher at Human Rights Watch, said last week.

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"Lawmakers should remove all the abusive articles before passing the law."