Bali Remains Closed for Foreign Tourists: Indonesia’s Minister

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JAKARTA, – Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno reiterated that the Indonesian resort island of Bali is still closed to foreign tourists to contain the spread of Covid-19. The policy remains in place despite all areas in the resort island have no longer been declared Covid-19 red zone or a high risk of Covid-19 transmission. Bali’s economy, which has been hit hard by the Covid-19, relies heavily on the tourism industry.

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Currently, two entry ports for air travelers who plan to enter Indonesia are Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang near Jakarta and Sam Ratulangi International Airport in Manado, North Sulawesi.

“Currently, Bali is not reopening doors to foreign tourists as [its airport] is still also closed to international flights. New international arrivals by air can only enter Indonesia from Manado and Jakarta for business travelers,” Sandiaga said during a weekly press briefing on Monday, September 20. However, he said that the mass vaccination program in Bali continues to take place. Until now, 95.5 percent of the Bali population received the first dose of the Covid-19 jab, while the second dose has reached 66.3 percent. He went on to say that the Covid-19 contact tracing app PeduliLindungi has been used by 503 hotels, 648 restaurants, 23 tourist destinations, and 14 malls.

“We hope that the Bali administration will continue to work closely with us and prepare the standard operating procedures of the trial runs for reopening doors to foreign tourists,” he said. “We also hope that hospitals and 35 hotels for self-isolation are ready to handle the Covid-19.” Meanwhile, the reopening of movie theaters located in the alert level 2 and 3 areas must also follow the rules, he said. “The reopening of cinemas in the alert level 2 and 3 areas must be well-prepared in accordance with the rules,” he said, adding that President Joko Widodo has repeatedly said that do not let the new Covid-19 variant cause the third wave of infection. Tourist operators must follow the health protocols and implement the cleanliness, health, safety, and environmental sustainability (CHSE) procedures.

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