As Bali tries to reopen, island remains hopeful of Australian return
As vaccinated Australians are not allowed to travel abroad unless a government exemption is granted and must pay around 40 fortnightly hotels upon return, the prospect of Australians vacationing in Bali again seems to still appear. more distant. But officials hope the wait can be shortened with a successful reopening.
“We missed the Australians [so] a lot. We want Australians to come back to Bali soon. We hope to see Australians in Bali in 2021, ”said Cok Ace.
He said the government aims to have 100% vaccination rate in the three communities in the green zone by July, and the plan is to bring Bali to 70% inoculation to create herd immunity the same. month.
Bali will welcome visitors from countries that have successfully contained the virus, identifying Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and South Korea as low risk alongside China and Australia.
“We need foreign tourists to better reactivate our tourism activities [but] we will certainly always protect the health of the Balinese first, ”he said.
There is a new wave of cases in Indonesia, which has been the hardest hit of any country in Southeast Asia with nearly 2 million total cases and more than 53,000 deaths. The latest peak, mainly the delta variant, comes following the Eid-al-Fitr holiday last month.
Bali did not completely escape – there were 72 new locally transmitted infections recorded on Friday and 524 active cases. But business leader I Made Yoga Iswara, chairman of the Association of General Managers of Bali, hopes the latest outbreak in Indonesia won’t deter tourists from coming to Bali or convince the government to delay the zone project. green.
He said 1,370 establishments in Bali’s tourism industry had health and safety certifications and companies were initially only aiming for 30% occupancy rates to stay afloat.
“The pandemic is not something that is going to go away soon. We have to accept that this is now part of our lives, we have to adapt to it, ”Yoga said. “Bali needs a starting point.
A Work from Bali program has also been announced, allowing officials to temporarily relocate to the island to boost domestic tourism, but there are concerns that international travelers may be allowed in too early.
Dr Windhu Purnomo, epidemiologist at Airlangga University in Surabaya, said reopening to foreign tourists should be postponed.
“I think we have to restrain ourselves in a condition which is still very risky,” he said.
“Look at Australia, they would immediately put on a lockdown although they only have less than five new cases. What a contrast to us, with hundreds of deaths, we still intend to open the doors to international tourism.