Local News

Malls in Bali reopen today to trial run health protocols

Malls across Bali have reopened to the public starting today in a “health protocol trial run,” as the province gears up for the possibility of leveling down on the tiered version of the Enforcement of Restrictions on Public Activities (PPKM) soon.

Though Bali remains on Level 4 PPKM until at least Sept. 13, the current iteration of the restrictions allows for malls to reopen for a trial run. Popular establishments, such as Mal Bali Galeria, Beachwalk Shopping Center, and Samasta Lifestyle Village are accessible again for the public.

According to a Ministerial Instruction issued by Home Affairs Minister Tito Karnavian, malls in Bali are allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity from 10am to 9pm, while implementing strict health protocols. This includes downloading test and trace app PeduliLindungi, which would be used to scan visitors before entering the facility and help determine whether they meet the requirements to be granted entry, such as having received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
In addition, those below 12 years old and above 70 years old are strictly prohibited from entering malls, while movie theaters and kids’ playing areas are among the facilities that must remain closed for the time being.

“Restaurants or cafes located inside shopping centers or malls must only accept deliveries or take-aways, and cannot accept dine-in [patrons],” the official instruction reads. (Coconuts.co 08/09/2021)


Bali Officials Plan To Test The Reopening Of The International Travel Corridor

Officials from the Bali Tourism Agency have confirmed that the government has planned to partially reopen the international travel corridor.

The Head of the Bali Tourism Agency, I Putu Astawa confirmed that he has recently heard the plan from the government to partially reopen the international travel corridor in the near future. “As a response to the demand from tourism businesses in Bali to open our border for international travelers, the government finally plans to test the reopening of the international travel corridor for Bali in the near future.” Astawa said on Sunday (5/9).

Astawa explained that Bali is now ready to receive international visitors as it was already prepared with all the same requirements to open the border to the domestic visitors.

“We have prepared all the requirements such as vaccinating all tourism workers and certifying the accommodation businesses with Clean Health Safety and Environment (CHSE) with strict prevention protocols before operating and receiving visitors.” Astawa added.

However, Astawa also warned the government to be really careful during the implementation by partially reopening the travel bubble with other countries. “We need to assure that they will not carry the virus when they arrive or depart from Bali by implementing the proper screening that we have been doing for the domestic tourists.” Astawa concluded. Apart from that, Astawa reminds everyone that international visitors must be designated to the green zone areas of Covid-19 when the border finally reopens. (thebalisun.com 08/09/2021)


Bali airport sees more passengers as COVID-19 tests become cheaper

Pockets of domestic travel appear to have improved in Indonesia, at least where traffic is concerned, as COVID-19 tests drop in prices. This is true in Bali, where the number of passengers passing through Ngurah Rai International Airport has doubled recently.

According to Taufan Yudhistira, a spokesman from airport management firm PT Angkasa Pura I, the recent ease in domestic travel requirements, which now allows fully vaccinated passengers to fly only with a negative rapid antigen result within Java and Bali, have resulted in more people passing through Ngurah Rai. Those who have only been vaccinated once, as well as those traveling to other regions in the country, must present a negative PCR test result.

“Then there’s also the lowered cost of PCR tests, [that has resulted] in more passengers and as of last Friday we also adjusted the prices for rapid antigen tests … and there’s been an increase in passengers,” Taufan said.

Taufan said the airport served around 2,500 passengers daily previously, but saw almost 6,000 passengers just last Friday.

The Indonesian government recently lowered prices for COVID tests, after more than a year of the crucial diagnostic tool being financially out of reach for many Indonesians. PCR tests are now capped at IDR495,000 in Java and Bali, and IDR525,000 for the rest of the country. Meanwhile, rapid antigen tests now cost IDR99,000 for Java and Bali, and IDR109,000 for outside the region. These new prices are about half of what they used to cost. (Coconuts.co 07/09/2021)

Komodo dragons now classified as ‘endangered’ due to threats from climate change: IUCN

The Komodo dragon is now listed as “endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as the species face increasing threats from the impacts of climate change.
In the latest update of their Red List published over the weekend, the IUCN said that the world’s largest living lizard has been moved from the “vulnerable” category to “endangered.” The survival of the species, which is endemic to Indonesia, is threatened by rising global temperature and subsequent sea levels. These factors are expected “to reduce the Komodo dragon’s suitable habitat by at least 30% in the next 45 years.”

Komodo dragons currently inhabit the Komodo National Park and neighbouring Flores island, both in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). Though the subpopulation at the park is currently stable and well-protected, IUCN said that Komodo dragons outside the protected areas are threatened by significant habitat loss due to ongoing human activities, including agricultural expansion.

Furthermore, IUCN said that efforts to smuggle these live animals out of Indonesia in what appears to be pet trade, have recently been recorded.

The Komodo National Park is home to around 2,800 Komodo dragons, according to official data from 2018. Ongoing developments and future plans in the park have made headlines, the latest of which being a plea from UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee to halt infrastructure projects due to concerns over their environmental impacts. (Coconuts.co 07/09/2021)


Bali’s tourism sector fully vaccinated, official says

All of Bali’s tourism workers have been vaccinated as of this week, the province’s health agency chief has confirmed, as officials continue to gear up for the possibility of restarting full-scale tourism on the island.

“Right now, we can pretty much say that a hundred percent of the tourism workforce in Bali have been vaccinated,” Bali Tourism Agency Chief I Putu Astawa said.

It’s probably wise to be a little skeptical, especially when officials in Bali have actually stretched vaccination numbers before.

With Bali’s economy and tourism industry deeply battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, hopes for a full reopening (that includes foreign tourists) have been expressed far and wide across the province.
A number of plans to reopen since the pandemic began had to be pushed back several times, as cases continue to soar on the island after periods of relatively low transmissions. The last couple of months, however, saw the worst toll of the pandemic yet for the island, though the public health crisis has been gradually easing recently.

“One of the ways deemed most effective to prevent COVID-19 transmission is with vaccination programs to develop herd immunity in the tourism sector,” Astawa said.
On Monday, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno said officials have yet to decide on a specific timeline to welcome foreign tourists to the island. (Coconuts.co 07/09/2021)


Recent Bali Warehouse Fire Allegedly Caused By A Nearby Garbage Burn

A warehouse that is located in Mambal village, Abiansemal Badung caught on fire on Monday morning (30/8).

The Head of Badung Public Relation Officer, Iptu Ketut Sudana confirmed that the warehouse that belongs to a man named I Komang Gede Astawa caught on fire, causing a huge damage to the building. “Despite being successfully extinguished by the fire department, the warehouse was completely destroyed by the incident that occurred on Monday morning around 8:10am.” Iptu Sudana said on Monday.

According to the information from the nearby villagers, prior to the incident Astawa’s aunt was spotted lighting up a fire to burn a pile of garbage next to Astawa’s warehouse that morning. Unfortunately, when the fire got bigger, Astawa’s aunt had left the scene, which allowed the fire to spread to the nearest building very quickly. “Realizing that something was wrong, Astawa came outside and was surprised, and said the fire was already very big.” Iptu Sudana added.

Astawa and nearby villagers attempted to extinguish the fire using very minimal equipment before the authorities from the Fire Department and Disaster Management Agency finally arrived and put out the fire. “Despite causing permanent damage to the warehouse, we’re thankful that nobody was injured from the incident today.” Iptu Sudana concluded. However, a police’ investigation to find out the cause of the incident is still underway. (thebalisun.com 08/09/2021)