Central Government and Bali Authority Prepare “Green Zones” to Welcome Tourists

2 March 2021

It’s been a year since Indonesia announced the first case of Covid-19 on 2 March 2020. Since then, Bali’s tourism sector was pretty much facing the darkest moment of uncertainty with no signs of a glimpse of light by the end of the tunnel.

Plans on lifting the travel ban for international tourist have circulated across media several times, and none of them have come to a realisation. The government dropped a hint to open the borders by 11 September 2020; but, after six months of long wait, everyone must accept that the plan must be delayed due to the current global situation at that time. However, holders of valid KITAS, KITAP, Diplomatic Visa and other specific business visa were allowed to enter Indonesia.

Things got worse when WHO confirmed the new strain of Covid-19 discovered in the United Kingdom a few months later. This condition forced Indonesia to deny business entry from countries like the United Kingdom (UK), Australia, Italy, and Denmark without any exceptions temporarily. After then, regulations keep being updated by the Indonesia authority following the pandemic situation worldwide. 

Last week, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan delivered good news on the possibility of re-opening Bali for international tourism. The minister assessed that the potential of re-opening international tourism now seems more realistic given the decreasing percentage of recent daily cases nationally. However, every party must pay attention more to the strict implementation of health protocols at every service level.

Luhut revealed that the government will conduct socialisation regarding the rules/ regulations on Bali’s tourism procedures, especially for foreign tourists. “The new regulation implemented in Bali is the imposition of the Penalty for Health Protocol. These regulations include the initial stages of socialisation and publication of health protocols and monitoring health protocol practices. If tourists were caught doing a violation, they must pay administrative penalties and the possibility of deportation,” he explained.

The Governor of Bali, Wayan Koster claimed that his team had prepared the re-opening scheme specifically for the Covid-19 green zones in Bali. These areas are considered to have a very low risk of coronavirus transmission. “Myself and the Minister of Health agreed to open the green zone area, so both domestic and international travellers will be only allowed to visit these Covid-19 free areas,” explained Koster at a virtual conference on Monday (1/3).

Nusa Dua and Ubud are categorised as the green zone at the moment. “We have also mapped the need for vaccines. In Ubud, we need 100 thousand vaccines, and Nusa Dua needs 10 thousand vaccines for the people and tourism workers there. We prepare SOP strictly, and when the vaccine arrives,… Hopefully, by the end of March, it will be complete, and the immunisation will be started right away,” said Koster.

Latest Covid-19 statistic per Monday (1/3), 165 new infections in Bali, made total cases 34.532. Recent recoveries at 232, in total 31.418 with eight recent death was reported, in total 931. While in Indonesia, there were 6.680 new cases, pushed down the total infections to 1.341.314 with 36.325 total deaths and 1.151.915 recoveries.

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