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The opening of the Indonesian island of Bali to foreign tourists has been delayed

Date:2021-06-30

Indonesia's tourism industry was hit hard by the COVID-19 epidemic last year, with Bali suffering particularly badly.

(Bali Delay Opening to Foreign Tourists) Indonesian officials have revealed that the opening of the popular island of Bali to foreign tourists has had to be delayed because of a recent surge in confirmed cases of the coronet.

More than 20,000 new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Indonesia for the third day in a row, with more than 2.13 million cases confirmed and more than 57,000 deaths reported, according to the National Disaster Relief Agency. Indonesia's tourism and creative economy minister, Sandija Uno, told reporters on Wednesday that the tourism authority had planned to start allowing foreign tourists to visit Bali "in late July or early August" but the outbreak had worsened in recent weeks. "We have to be cautious and wait until the situation improves," he said. Due to the COVID-19, Bali banned foreign tourists from traveling to the island in August last year, allowing only foreign tourists already in Indonesia to land.

Bali is no exception to the recent surge in confirmed cases of coronavirus across Indonesia, official data show. Over the past month, about 200 new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in a single day in Bali. Mr. Uno said he wanted to bring the number of new cases in Bali down to 30 to 40 a day before he would consider opening the island to foreign tourists. Observers caution that the actual number of COVID-19 cases in Bali may be higher, given the limited detection capacity. Mr. Uno said the Indonesian government had prioritized vaccinations for the Balinese and it appeared to be having some success. For example, most infected people are not seriously ill and have only mild symptoms.

About 71% of the Balinese population has now received the first dose of COVID, and the target of 70% of the Balinese population being vaccinated is expected to be reached by the end of July. As early as March, Uno posted on social media that the COVID-19 vaccine was "essential" for reviving tourism in Indonesia. The Indonesian government also recently introduced a new rule requiring tourists from other parts of the country to undergo a nucleic acid test before they can land on the island if the test results are negative. Indonesia's tourism industry was hit hard by the COVID-19 epidemic last year, with Bali suffering particularly badly. Indonesia's tourism ministry had hoped for a return of foreign tourists this year and is also planning to build a "tourist corridor" with neighboring countries to facilitate the entry of tourists, as long as it meets epidemic prevention requirements.