Image: Bali Kembali. Source: Instagram.
Whatsapp groups were abuzz over the weekend with new information on Bali opening up to foreign flights (and possibly tourists) again come December 1, 2020.
When asked by local media, Bali Governor Wayan Koster confirmed that the discourse had taken place but it was still being discussed.
“It’s still in discussions with the Coordinating Minister and the Minister of Transportation,” said Koster, when met at the Bali DPRD Building, Monday (9/11) morning.
Koster said that the opening of international flights must happen soon for the sake of the Bali economy. The recovery of the economy need the delivery of business goods, either export or import.
The same message was also conveyed by the Deputy Governor of Bali, Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati or Cok Ace. He also claimed the idea was still being discussed.
“There are still many things to be considered during the discussions. We cannot only think of conditions in Bali, the condition of the region, the country, and tourism itself are also being taken into account carefully,” he said.
Separately, the Bali Regional Secretary and spokesperson from the Bali Covid Task Force, Dewa Made Indra, said that the opening plan had not yet been decided upon and was still only a study.
“This is a new study being made by the central and the district governments. Later, the report will go to the governor and central government and then it is the decision of the leaders,” he said.
He explained that what must be done first is an evaluation of the level of readiness of the opening.
“The central government is evaluating our level of readiness to open, so when opened there will not be an escalation of cases, which will mean we don’t have benefits but losses,” said Dewa Indra.
According to Dewa Indra, before opening international flights they need to be totally prepared and ready and there is an integrated team starting with the Ministry of Health, BNPB, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Tourism involved in the study. The preparedness includes hotels, the airport and all over the island.
At the same time, it was reported that the Bali Provincial Government was intensifying its “Bali Kembali” or “Bali Return” campaign on social media.
Secretary Dewa Indra emphasized when asked by Tribun Bali that if the Covid-19 pandemic could be handled properly, the island’s economy would follow suit.
“The economy slumped because of the pandemic and the meaning of “return” is to be able to cope with the pandemic well again so that the economy can open up properly. It continues to be campaigned,” he said.