In COVID-19, News, Tourism
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Image: Beautiful Bali. Padma Beach this week.

Bali will open to domestic tourists tomorrow (31/7), but first, today there will be an opening ceremony which will be attended by at least two central ministers.

According to Vice Governor Cok Ace, the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut B. Pandjaitan and the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Wishnutama Kusubandio will attend the opening declaration of Bali tourism.

The vice governor told reporters yesterday in Denpasar that the event will be held in private to prevent crowds. The media and citizens of Bali can watch the event, which will be held in the Nusa Dua area, through live streaming, he stated.

Bali’s tourism will be opened on Friday, July 31 for the domestic market, but the declaration was accelerated one day in honor of the Eid al-Adha celebrations held on Friday.

Meanwhile, Head of Bali Tourism Office Putu Astawa, said the event will start at 4pm today. The event began with a carnival welcoming the ministers at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport. Then continued with remarks by the ministers and the provincial government of Bali.

Cok Ace continued that Bali was more ready for tourists than all the 10 new Bali’s around the country and he is hoping the central government can implement promotional programs outside the island in the near future. “Bali depends on tourism and even if tourists need to present a rapid test on arrival, I feel this can be entertained as other countries have even more stringent conditions for arrivals. Like Australia has a 14 day quarantine,” he told Bali Post.

“The purpose of the test is to protect the tourists themselves. If we can achieve good results with this opening, the international community will feel more secure in the future,” he said.

Cok Ace also told reporters that the local government believes the island is already ready to receive international tourists.

“If you look at the past ten days Covid-19 results, Bali has already entered the third phase in the fight against the virus.  The trend of cured patients is up, with less people now in care. However, Bali still remains very dependent on foreign tourists,” said the vice governor.

Australia and China, the countries from where most tourists come, have declared that they will start to allow travel again in 2021. “So this is what we must look at,” said Cok Ace, (without offering a clear alternative option to that situation. Ed)

Flights too are also an issue, as airlines will have to fly with less passengers, making their break even points difficult. “We have proposed to the central government to offer incentives to airlines for them to be interested in bringing passengers to the island,” he said.

However, Cok Ace could not be sure whether the opening of foreign tourist market is certain for September 11, 2020. The Indonesian government is still coordinating the policy of foreigners entering Indonesia and the development of COVID-19 abroad.

“September there are still several things that need to be coordinated, including the permission of foreign tourists to arrive in Indonesia. We also are following developments of COVID-19 abroad,” he told Kumpuran.

The vice governor also said night entertainment and karaoke bars are still not allowed to operate. He said that in regard to performing arts such as kecak dance, his party was collaborating with the Indonesian Arts Institute (ISI) Denpasar. The collaboration was to examine how the dances that usually involve many people can be performed according to health protocols.

In regard to the reopening of Bali for domestic tourists tomorrow, according to a Governor Circular Number 15243 of 2020 concerning the requirements for domestic tourists visiting Bali, there are five points to follow.

  1. Show the results of a swab or rapid test.

Gede Pramana, spokesman from the Bali provincial government, told Kompas that tourists need to show a negative PCR-based swab test, or a non-reactive rapid test from an authorized agency. The validity period of a negative PCR-based swab test or non-reactive rapid test results for a visit to Bali is no later than 14 days after the certificate is issued. “Tourists who cannot show the letter, or are showing symptoms of Covid-19, are obliged to take a PCR-based swab test or rapid test in Bali,” Pramana said.

  1. Swab test in Bali, if reactive rapid test

Gede Pramana added, for tourists who have reactive rapid test result are obliged to take a PCR-based swab test in Bali. While waiting for the results of the swab test, tourists will undergo a quarantine process at a place determined by the Provincial Government of Bali. “Travelers who are positive for COVID-19 based on the results of the swab test will be treated at the facility health in Bali. Swab test fees, rapid tests and quarantine are the responsibility of the tourists,” he said.

  1. Fill in the LOVEBALI application form

Before departure to Bali, every tourist is obliged to fill in the LOVEBALI Application. LOVEBALI Application Instructions can be accessed on the page Tourism accommodation businesses in Bali must ensure that every Tourist has filled out the LOVEBALI Application.

  1. Follow the new normal Bali protocol

While carrying out tourist activities in Bali, he continued, tourists are obliged to implement the New Era of Bali Life Order Protocol in accordance with the provisions of the Provincial Government of Bali. The protocol, such as using a mask / face shield, washing hands with soap and running water or using a hand sanitizer. Then meet the provisions of maintaining a minimum distance of one meter when interacting and sitting, and implementing clean and healthy living behaviour (PHBS).

  1. Turn on your GPS

Gede said that while in Bali, tourists were advised to activate the Global Positioning System (GPS) on smartphones for the protection and security of tourists. “Tourists can submit complaints or problems while in Bali through the LOVEBALI application,” he said. Gede Pramana reminded tourists are obliged to comply with the provisions in the circular, and those who violate will be subject to sanctions in accordance with statutory provisions.

Good luck everyone. Let’s all hope and pray this works out well.