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Image: Beautiful Bali. Credit: Brightsun Travel.

The Provincial Government of Bali plans to open tourism on the island in July 2020. However, when it reopens, the tourist attractions in Bali will only be visited by local tourists.

Head of Marketing at Bali Tourism Dept, Ida Ayu Indah Yustikarini conveyed this information in a live streaming video on Sunday evening (6/21).

“The Governor’s plan is that in July tourism will be reopened, but only for the local people in Bali,” said Ida. During the next month, August, domestic tourists will be allowed to visit Bali. Meanwhile, in September, foreign tourists are expected to be able to visit Bali.

However, Ida stressed, this was still just a plan. The provincial government, he said, still continued observing the development of the Covid-19 situation in Bali.

“We have to look at the curve of Covid-19 patients in Bali. If it is sloping down, the plan goes ahead, but if not, of course the plan can change,” he explained.

He also said that at this time Bali had finished compiling the procedures for the Hygiene, Health and Safety (CHS) plan from the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy and he stated that there are six strategic steps from the provincial government in implementing the CHS protocols.

One of the strategic steps is to involve the customary village in implementing the CHS. The traditional village government and pecalang, will be tasked in reminding the community or tourists who violate the Covid-19 health protocols.

Bali is currently waiting the Governor’s signature for approval of the protocol.

The island’s cautious attitude in reopening its tourism was also commented on by the moderator of the socialization program, the Director of Regional Tourism Marketing, Vincent Jemadu. He said, Bali is the capital of Indonesian tourism, therefore, he agreed that Bali tourism should not be in a hurry to reopen its tourism. “Bali really needs to take care and not allow its image be damaged. Why? Because tourism is all about image. This is maintained by Bali and indeed Bali is a magnet for tourists because of it,” he said.

And what are the other five strategies?

Second, the Provincial Government of Bali will apply strict screening at every entrance of Bali in an effort to prevent and implement health protocols in all public facilities.

“For example, at Ngurah Rai airport, all airplane passengers must show PCR / Swab test results, while at the port passengers must show negative rapid test results,” he said. As for now, said Ida, the provincial government is no longer funding the rapid test. All costs are borne by the passengers themselves.

Third, all passengers, both on aircraft and ships are required to fill out a health alert card (HAC). “This card contains information for passengers regarding the current state of public health in Bali. So that not only gives confidence to passengers who come to Bali and that they must be healthy, but also one of our ways to maintain public health in Bali,” he explained.

Fourth, Bali already has 14 hospitals ready to handle Covid-19 and three laboratories ready to provide PCR tests. Then, there will be the addition of two more laboratories in early July, he said. “So there will be more laboratories, the results will be faster and more accurate,” he explained.

Fifth, the provincial government also invited the pecalang to participate in preventing the spread of Covid-19. “The pecalang’s job will be to remind the people around his area to wear masks and keep their physical distance. Then if for example a motorcycle rider crosses the road without wearing a mask, they will not hesitate to stop and remind them, and provide free masks,” he said.

Sixth, he explained that the Bali Provincial Government had completed the preparation of the CHS SOP. At present, Bali is currently translating this into English and at the same time submitting it to the Governor of Bali for the signing. Furthermore, he revealed that the CHS SOP had been prepared together with tourism associations under the Indonesian Tourism Industry Association (GIPI) Bali.

“Frankly, we are from the government, we don’t really know the exact situation on the ground. It is the tourism association players who know what they are facing, what their obstacles are and what they have to do to deal with this. We sat together through video conferencing, and finally the SOP is finished,” he said.

Ida also stressed that, despite completing the CHS SOP, he could not say that Bali was yet ready to open tourism. “Because later when we say Bali is open, we don’t want suddenly a problem to appear and we have to close again. We want this to run as smoothly as possible, so we cannot say Bali is immediately ready, we are preparing it first,” he concluded.