Bali’s government is gearing up to reopen the world-famous travel destination by September 11 of this year. The news was announced by the island’s governor I Wayan Koster, who added that Bali will still continue to operate under strict health protocols. Indonesia’s tourism relies heavily on Bali as it’s said to contribute to more than half of the industry.
The plan to reopen will reportedly follow three phases, with the first phase already underway as of July 9. Residents of the resort island are now allowed to visit its tourist spots, while local businesses were given the go-signal to reopen their shops.
Koster, last Wednesday, said that the administration will push through with phase two on July 31 by admitting domestic tourists into the island. Meanwhile, phase three, which involves giving entry to foreigners is set for September 11.
Along with this, health-related guidelines and rules have been set up all over Bali. This includes mandatory negative COVID-19 test results from all visitors. "International tourists would be required to provide negative COVID-19 test results that are valid for two weeks in accordance with the circular issued by the transportation minister," he explained.
Despite the Bali administration’s resolve to reopen in hopes of aiding in Indonesia’s economic recovery travel-wise, doubts have already been expressed on social media considering the island’s worsening COVID-19 numbers. “The island, popular with both foreign and local tourists, had some success in containing the virus outbreak in its early phase but the return of migrant workers and easing of physical distancing rules triggered a surge in infections,” writes the Bangkok Post.
As for exact statistics, an article by The Jakarta Post last Sunday puts Bali’s COVID-19-positive cases at 3,058, and 3,036 of which are locals while 22 are foreigners, with the number of patients still rising. Meanwhile, the province has seen 2321 recoveries and suffered 48 deaths.