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Image: Sunset on a Bali beach. Credit: Seminyak Times.

Bali Governor Wayan Koster released a new circular letter yesterday morning saying that all areas of society should strengthen the control and prevention of Covid 19. Without giving too much away, the letter went on to say that business offices should remain open, but with only 25% of the workforce actually working from the office. Study, work and other non-essential activities were encouraged in the governor’s circular to be done from home.

Reaction from around town (and the world), especially on some social media pages and local media sites was at first gloom and doom, and pronouncing that Bali was again heading for lockdown (even though a full lockdown has never happened on the island till now). However, after the information from the letter sunk in, basically not having much solid information in it, the herd mentality then began to warm towards a more positive outlook. Foreign press also picked up on the news being bandied about locally of the coming lockdown, printing stories with headlines like ‘Bali to lockdown again’. Some people on this island should keep a lid on what they print in their news outlets before knowing the full details.

Bars and restaurants have not been asked to close, there is no curfew imposed, nor are the authorities closing any beaches. The closest comment to that was that agencies in charge should keep a check on the number of people entering tourist objects and sites.

The governor also reiterated that the Balinese people should continue following the health protocols closely, and the government and people of Bali should work together to curtail new cases of the virus and encourage various aspects of social and economic life to move forward. People should also help to reduce the psychological impact to the community from the pandemic.

The letter also mentioned that religious ceremonies on the island should adhere to the protocols. With Galungan just finishing, which brought the entire Hindu Balinese community together over the past few days, and island wide public holidays, that information could be consider already too late. For this week, anyway.

We shall see what happens in the next couple of weeks, but for now, it is business as usual besides adhering to the protocols more seriously. We have been warned.