In COVID-19, News, Tourism
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Image: a pre-covid image of tourists clambering over Tanah Lot. Credit: ST

Minister for Tourism Sandiaga Uno informed the press this week that Singapore Airlines will begin serving flights to Bali from May 4, 2021.

He also suggested tourism stakeholders must prepare themselves. “Singapore Airlines will serve flights to Bali, God willing, starting May 4 and this should be appreciated and anticipated,” Sandiaga said in a weekly press briefing, Tuesday (27/4/2021), quoted by Kompas.

“This should be a signal for stakeholders in the tourism sector, and especially in Bali, to encourage and strengthen the sector,” he said.

Sandiaga said that until now there has been no change in the rules for the arrival of foreign visitors to Indonesia. Foreigners still have to undergo a self-quarantine period at a designated location for five days. (There has not been an announcement on the reissuing of Tourist on Arrival Visas as yet, but we are informed the special B211b Visa is available again. Ed)

The standards of cleanliness, health, safety & environment sustainability (CHSE) are also continuously being improved so that tourism activities can run according to applicable regulations. This requires collaboration between the central, regional and community governments.

“Regarding the CHSE review we continue to do, there are those who obey the health protocol, there are also destinations or venues that need to be improved, and there are also notes that really need to be reminded so that they are obedient,” he said.

Meanwhile, The Bali government says the opening of international tourism in mid-July 2021 has been greeted with high enthusiasm by foreign tourists and stakeholders even though until now there have been no bookings made by foreign tourists.

According to an article in Bisnis Bali, Deputy Governor of Bali Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati said that the government had not been able to confirm or predict the number of foreign tourists who will visit Bali at the opening of tourism in June or July 2021.

According to him, the increasing spread of the Covid-19 in a number of countries, such as India, has become a consideration for foreign tourists to decide to travel or not to Bali.

Even so, Bali is still preparing for the opening of tourism and at the same time suppressing the spread of cases on the island. “We will see, it is not important for us to have large number of [tourists who will visit Bali], we intend to try it gradually so that it can be evaluated little by little,” he said, Wednesday (28/4/2021).

Preparations in the opening of international tourism in Bali include improving hospital services and adding more inpatient rooms, as hospital services are one of the requirements for opening tourism to foreign tourists. Three green areas, namely Ubud, Sanur, and Nusa Dua, have also been supported by health infrastructure. In Nusa Dua there is already an international standard BMC hospital. Meanwhile, Sanur has Bali Mandara Hospital which is also a Covid-19 referral hospital, and Ubud has recently opened Kenak Medika and Ari Canthi Hospital.

Bali is currently also working on vaccinations. The target is to vaccinate around 3 million people, or around 70 percent of Bali’s population of around 4.3 million people. The number of people who were vaccinated in Phase I was 696,356 people or 23.2 percent of the target and Phase II vaccines were 216,429 people or 7.2 percent of the target.

The total number of cases of Covid-19 has reached 44,402 people, with an average of 159 cases per day. There were 166 confirmed cases yesterday, with 131 people recovering, and 10 people died attributed to Covid-19.