Local News

Bali Has Three Phase Plan To Reopen Borders For Tourism By August

Bali government officials expect to reopen international borders by August of this year. The plan consists of three phases: The first is the mass distribution of vaccines; the second, preparing tracing and testing applications; and the third is arranging quarantine accommodations.

The Head of Bali Health Agency, Dr. Ketut Suarjaya, spoke about the three phases in a reopening announcement on Thursday (18/3).

“In April 2021, tracing application trials will be carried out, hotel preparation with quarantine or isolation tour packages, and Clean Health Safety and Environment (CHSE) certification of more than 80 percent businesses,” Dr. Suarjaya said.

The second phase begins in May 2021 includes green zone; to pilot the implementation protocols for tourism workers leaving/entering the green zone and domestic tourists.
The third phase in June will begin reopening to international tourists after observing the simulation and protocols implemented and making sure the plan is safe and feasible.

“After finishing the third phase by August 2021, green zones will be opened to international tourists in areas such as Ubud, Nusa Dua, and Sanur. We will also be hosting an international meeting with WHO in Bali” Dr. Suarjaya concluded. (thebalisun.com 21/03/2021).

Bali Partial Lockdown Extended For Two More Weeks

Government officials have extended the community-based partial lockdown in Bali for another two weeks. The new date for the lockdown will last at least until April 5. The Head of COVID-19 Handling Committee and National Economic Recovery, Airlangga Hartanto made the announcement during a virtual press conference on Friday (19/3).

“We decided to extend the partial lockdown from the 23rd of March to the 5th of April 2021 with some leniency on the implementation,” Hartanto said.

He said that in-person learning for university/college students will begin to reopen as simulation.

“We will start the simulation of in-person learning for the college students under strict prevention protocols in accordance with the regional government’s regulation per each district, while the elementary and secondary students remain with the virtual classes” Hartanto added.

He also granted permission for people to hold social and cultural activities under certain conditions. “We will start allowing people to hold social and cultural activity but only with 25 percent of their maximum capacity. The other restrictions will remain the same, the restaurants and offices are allowed to operate with 50 percent of their capacity” Hartanto concluded.

Meanwhile, the central government also decided to add 5 other provinces to implement this partial lockdown in their areas such as South Borneo, Central Borneo, North Sulawesi, East Nusa Tenggara, and West Nusa Tenggara.

Hartanto said that community-based partial lockdown has been showing a positive result in reducing Covid-19 transmission in Bali, adding that 90% of the people in Bali are compliant with the prevention protocols. (thebalisun.com 20/03/2021).


90% Of Restaurants In Ubud Have Closed Down Due To The Pandemic

The Tourism Association has confirmed that over 90 percent of restaurants in Ubud has closed down due to Covid-19 pandemic. The Head of Gianyar Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), Pande Mahayana Adityawarman said that majority of those accommodation businesses had to make the tough decision because they could not cover their operational cost.

“Ubud used to be the top tourist destination on the island not now has suddenly become a ghost town, and it brings a major impact to the economic situation since then” said Aditawarman on Tuesday (16/3).

Some of the businesses tried to reopen during the Christmas holidays, but they didn’t receive significant response from the domestic tourists. Additionally, the pandemic has also affected the hotels occupancy in Ubud. Adityawarman said that the occupancy has dropped since the partial lockdown was implemented in most of the areas in Bali and Java.

“We still had a few occupants before the partial lockdown was implemented, but now many hotels in Ubud also decided to close operations due to lack of tourism” Adityawarman added.

The majority of accommodation businesses decided to lay-off their staff as they were unable to pay salaries. He also explained that the occupancy during the weekends was still not enough to cover their electricity bills.

“PHRI tried to offer packages to attract domestic tourists to stay in Ubud, but we didn’t receive a significant response from them especially since the partial lockdown. We have urged the government to help us to provide a soft loan in order to avoid permanent economic damage from the situation” Adityawarman concluded. (thebalisun.com 20/03/2021).


COVID-19 vaccination kicks off in Bali’s ‘green zones’

The mass vaccination program targeting over 170,000 people in Ubud, Nusa Dua, and Sanur begins today in Bali, as officials start preparing for the province’s potential reopening to foreign tourism by the middle of this year.

“Establishing these three green zones is a smart move in the effort to open Bali’s tourism. By providing vaccines, supported with implementation of strict health protocols and discipline, then green zones in these three areas will be a reality,” Dewa Made Indra, regional secretary of the Bali administration, said in a statement.

Indonesian officials are proposing a “travel corridor arrangement” with several countries, which are deemed successful in containing the spread of the coronavirus, have high vaccination rates, and could offer reciprocal benefits, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno previously said — giving examples of countries like the Netherlands, China, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Singapore.

Nothing appears to be final just yet, but the designation of the first three green zones in Bali and the kick-off of the vaccination program in these areas today at least show that the proposed plan is in motion.
As of March 21, Bali has reported a total of 38,133 coronavirus cases. (coconuts.co 21/03/2021).


Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno hopes to attract digital nomads to Bali with long-term visa

Indonesia’s Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno is hoping to attract digital nomads from around the globe with a new long-term visa that would allow foreign tourists to stay in the country for up to five years.

Sandiaga previously encouraged innovative approaches within the tourism industry in order for it to survive the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which included attracting digital nomads. Earlier this year, the official invited people across the country to work and study from Bali, and said he was working on introducing policies to further support such a program.

Yesterday, he said digital nomads might consider Bali as a destination if Indonesia starts offering long-term visas.

“This is a prerequisite so that even more digital nomads from around the world would consider Bali as their second home, and more people will work from home,” Sandiaga said, emphasizing the rising trend of digital nomadism across the globe.

“We see the trend of digital nomad [and] staycation. If one works from Bali and is not too far from the beach, this is appealing, especially with good weather, beautiful culture, and friendly people.”

With plans in motion to eventually restart foreign tourism, Sandiaga said these programs must be simultaneously realized to help revitalize the province’s battered tourism industry. (coconuts.co 18/03/2021).

Denpasar mayor says expats living in Sanur ‘green zone’ may be eligible for vaccines

With officials on course to establish the much-touted COVID-19 “green zones” in Bali through a targeted mass vaccination program, Denpasar Mayor I Gusti Ngurah Jaya Negara said that expatriates staying in the designated areas might also be eligible for vaccination.
The mayor’s office is working on the matter, Jaya Negara confirmed, citing the many expatriates residing in Sanur, which along with Ubud and Nusa Dua has been officially designated to be green zones by the Bali provincial government.
“We are coordinating this matter, because this vaccine is free from the national budget, if we can administer it for foreign nationals. This is something that requires coordination,” Jaya Negara said.

He also said that the vaccination program in the green zones will use the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Indonesia has thus far depended solely on CoronaVac, developed by Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac, in its mass vaccination program that began in mid-January.

Tens of thousands of people residing and conducting activities in Ubud, Sanur, and Nusa Dua are going to be vaccinated as part of the “Free COVID Corridor” program, which officials say is the first step towards reopening Bali to foreign tourists.(coconuts.co 20/03/2021).

200 Bali Cruise Workers Scammed For Vaccine Fees

More than 200 Bali migrant workers who were scheduled to receive Covid-19 vaccines before going back to work in cruise ships have fallen victim to illegal fees and deception from an official federation.

The President Director of Ratu Oceania Raya Bali Ltd, I Nengah Yasa Adi Susanto admitted that hundreds of migrant workers from his company were extorted by people from the Indonesian Seafarer Federation (KPI).

“The people from KPI extorted our migrant workers who registered themselves to receive Covid-19 vaccines as a requirement before going back to work in cruise ships,” said Susanto on Saturday (20/3).

He explained that KPI asked the workers to pay USD 1,04 (IDR 15,000) per person in order to receive the vaccine in Denpasar. Governor Koster had also affirmed that the migrant workers were targeted to receive the vaccine. “The governor has stated that migrant workers are expected to receive Covid-19 vaccine on the second phase for free before they go back to work overseas” Susanto added.

Additionally, the provincial government has provided a free online registration in order to receive the vaccine through the official Bali Labor Agency’s website.

Apart from the extortion case, Susanto also found a prevention protocol violation during the registration process that was held by the KPI on Jepun Park. “We also indicated a violation of our prevention protocols during the registration process that was held by KPI as they gathered many people at the same time neglecting the physical distancing rule during this partial lockdown” Susanto concluded. (thebalisun.com 22/03/2021).