In COVID-19, News, Tourism
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Image: Kuta Beach in all its glory. Credit: ST

The first day of the opening of Kuta Beach, on Thursday (9/7), did not see any large scale return of visitors.

In fact, the now pristine, white sand beach was still quiet. However, officers from the police, Satpol PP, the beach task force, and Jagabaya continued to guard the access at entry points along the beach.

One of the officers from the beach task force explained to NusBali that the situation on Kuta Beach from 8am to 2.30pm was devoid of activity. During his watch, there had not been a surge of people or tourists visiting.

“Not too many people at all, but this morning there was a visit from Governor Wayan Koster and Deputy Regent of Badung I Ketut Su,” he said.

Previously, Head of Kuta Village, I Wayan Wasista said that to make it easier to check every tourist who came, the access to the Kuta Beach area was only opened at four entrances, the main entrance (Kuta Beach gate), the entrance in front of the Sheraton Hotel (Jalan Poppies), in front of the Beach Walk, and the Legian Beach border. Each entrance it is guarded by Jagabaya officers, coastal task force and pecelang. The officers are equipped with thermo guns or body temperature check tools.

“Guards at the accesses will be equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE), ranging from gloves, face shields and masks because they are dealing directly with tourists,” said Wasista previously.

Observation on the field.

That may well be the case at the main entrances, but Seminyak Times made a visit to Kuta in the early afternoon and at an entrance near half-way surf break there were no checks or officers anywhere to be seen. The washbasins were there at the beach side of the entrance, but no-one using them. The loudspeakers did not wail any news about the new normal, either. It was a short visit.

We can vouch for one thing, though. The beach, without any traders, is in a pristine state, probably not seen since the early 80’s. I recommend going for a swim while it stays that way.