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Image: Hopefully more planes will be seen soon at Ngurah Rai. Credit: stock.

Badung Regent, I Nyoman Giri Prasta, plans to lobby the central government to allow direct international flights to open to Bali immediately. The regent assesses that it has been already 1.5 years since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the region and caused tourism to come to a halt and it is time move on.

“We will focus first on handling Covid-19, so that later the South Badung area can be visited by domestic tourists or foreign tourists, then get people back to work as soon as possible,” said Regent Giri Prasta was quoted in NusaBali this morning.

From official numbers at the Badung Manpower Office, there were 1,151 workers in Badung who were laid off in 2020. Then in 2021 there were an additional 137 workers, and so to date there are 1,288 workers who have been laid off. However, according to other data at Manpower, there have been 42,409 workers laid off, no longer working, but are still tied to the company without receiving a salary.

The Badung Regent I Nyoman Giri Prasta, said that overcoming the Covid-19 virus was obviously the main key to recovering the situation on the island and Badung Regency. He said the vaccination drive will continue to be intensified in the hope that the vaccine can suppress the spread of Covid-19.

“If we are able to create the right situation and conditions, we will ask the central government to immediately open direct international flights, so that soon there will be tourists traveling in the areas of South Kuta, Kuta and North Kuta,” he said after attending the plenary meeting at the Badung DPRD Building, Tuesday (10/8).

According to the regent, after there are tourists travelling to the region, there will be opportunities for the community to work. “Of course, ensuring the safety and comfort of those tourists beforehand,” he said.

As new cases go down in Jakarta and other parts of Java (except Malang) it appears the situation is improving quickly there. However, Bali still needs to reduce new case numbers, while second vaccination shots are now running at approximately 38% of the 70% of the population required to open.

Regent Giri Prasta says his government has also made a number of efforts to overcome the economic impact experienced by the community due to the Covid-19 pandemic. One of them is by providing direct cash assistance (BLT), not only from the Badung government, but also ensuring that the assistance from the central government actually reaches the correct recipients. (We understand that the BLT consists of three monthly payments of Rp 600k. Ed)

“In addition to those funds, we have provided direct assistance from the Ministry of Social Affairs in non-cash food assistance and cash social assistance, and we can confirm that all of that has been distributed. The second is from the Ministry of Villages, which is direct cash assistance from village funds that all families in Badung have received a part of, and we have implemented social justice for all residents,” explained the regent who has headed Badung for two periods.

Regent Giri Prasta also mentioned that based on suggestions from the PDI-P faction of the Badung DPRD, regarding providing a stimulus for MSMEs after handling Covid-19, according to him, it could be done, with a possible stimulus package, which he believes will help to create opportunities for people of the region to get back to work faster.