Image: Koster and Tjokorda Oka in Besakih yesterday. Credit: Pemprov Bali.
After prays at Besakih Temple, Karangasem, on Sunday (5/7), Bali Governor Wayan Koster announced the new normal implementation stages for the Island of the Gods. The governor was attending the Yadnya Pamahayu Jagat full moon ceremony, which was used to start the implementation of the first stage of the reopening of Bali. The three stages, Koster pointed out, are still in the form of a plan as authorities are still observing the development of the corona virus cases in Bali.
“Through the Yadnya Pamahayu Jagat ceremony, we seek the permission, blessing, guidance, and protection of monk Ida Bhatara Bhatari Sasvest so that he may bestow his grace so that the three stages can work smoothly and successfully with the implementation of the New Era of Life Protocol in Bali,” the governor said in a release on the Bali provincial government Facebook page.
In the first stage, starting on July 9, 2020, the tourism sector, government offices, customs, and religion will begin to open. However, at this stage, the tourism sector is only opened specifically for Balinese citizens.
Tourists from outside the island will be able to visit when the second phase is implemented on Friday, 31 July 2020, and foreign tourists can return to Bali with the third phrase of reopening starting on Friday, September 11, 2020.
According to Koster, Bali can now open again because of a marked control of emerging new positive cases, the high cure rate on the island and the number of people dying from the virus remains relatively small.
“Therefore, we must continue to make the best effort to handle COVID-19, while at the same time begin to restart normal life and activities for the sake of the community. This reopening must be carried out in stages, selectively, and limited by implementing the New COVID-19 Era Protocol for Productive and Safe Communities,” said the governor.
Phase One. Residents of Bali will be able to carry out activities in a limited and selective manner, starting on 9 July 2020, which coincides with a good Hindu day on Thursday, Umanis Sinta. For this first stage, according to directives from the National COVID-19 Task Force, the implementation of the New Era (the term now seems to have changed from New Normal. Ed) is limited to the sectors of health, government offices, customs and religion, finance, industry, trade, logistics, transportation, cooperatives, MSMEs, traditional markets, modern markets, restaurants and stalls, agriculture, plantations, fisheries, animal husbandry, and services and construction.
The education and tourism sectors are not yet fully re-opened. The education sector awaits the policy from the Minister of Education and Culture.
Second Stage. Activities will be carried out more broadly, including the tourism sector, but limited only to domestic tourists, starting from July 31, 2020, which is another good day, Pon, Kulantir.
Stage Three. The tourism sector will be opened for foreign tourists, starting on 11 September 2020 which coincides with Friday, Kliwon, Sungsang, Sugihan Bali, which is 42 days after the implementation of the second stage.
Governor Koster said the three stages are expected to run smoothly and successfully with the permission, blessings, guidance and protection of Ida Bhatara Bhatari Sasuhunan, ancestors, heaven, and the holy teachers. “For that we surrender fully and sincerely, while pleading with him to deign the best gifts to us all,” he said.