Denpasar, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia’s resort island, Bali, welcomed international travelers to shops and white sand beaches on Thursday for the first time in over a year. Be aware of restrictions in public places.
President Joko Widodo acknowledges the high immunization rate in Bali, and the number of COVID-19 cases in the country has decreased significantly. In Indonesia, after peaking at about 56,000 cases daily in July, there have been about 1,000 cases per day in the past week.
Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport welcomes the arrival of new foreigners from 19 countries that meet World Health Organization standards, including managing cases of COVID-19, leading COVID-19 response in Java and Bali Said government minister Ngurah Rai Panjaitan. In a statement late Wednesday.
He proved that all international passengers had been vaccinated twice, had a negative coronavirus test when they arrived in Bali, and had to be quarantined for five days at a designated hotel. Said there is. Also, hotels, restaurants and beaches must follow strict rules.
“This needs to be done with caution, as we need to be vigilant,” said Panjaitan.
Tourism is the main source of income for the idyllic “Island of the Gods”, which is home to more than 4 million people, mainly Hindus, in the country of the archipelago of Islam. Bali’s tourist destinations were abandoned 20 years ago after visitors were scared by a deadly terrorist attack on foreigners, but the island has been working to overcome that image.
More than 6 million foreigners arrive in Bali each year before the pandemic.
The number of foreign tourists arriving decreased by one-sixth from 6.2 million in 2019 to just one million in 2020. Meanwhile, 92,000 people in the tourism industry lost their jobs, and the average room occupancy of classified hotels in Bali was less than 20%. According to statistics from the Central Statistical Office, the island’s economy shrank by 9.31% last year compared to the previous year.
After closing the island to all visitors early in the pandemic, Bali reopened to Indonesians from other parts of the country in the middle of last year. As a result, the island’s gross domestic product grew moderately by 2.83% in the second quarter of this year, ending its fifth consecutive quarter of contraction.
The July surge, inspired by the Delta Variant, has once again completely emptied the island’s normally bustling beaches and streets. Authorities restricted public activities, closed the airport, closed all shops, bars, seated restaurants, tourist attractions and many other places on the island. It was reopened for domestic travelers in August.
On average, only two of the 40 rooms are occupied, said Samptowibawa, general manager of the Tandjung Sari Hotel in Bali, hoping that the reopening will bring the occupancy back to normal. rice field.
“We have been waiting for this moment for a long time,” he said. “This outbreak has hit the local economy … We are very excited to welcome foreign guests by adhering to health protocols.”
Mr Widdo said he decided to reopen Bali because of high vaccination rates and a desire to revive the economy. He said that more than 80% of Bali’s population is fully vaccinated.
“Based on this situation, I was optimistic and decided to resume international flights to Bali,” Widdo wrote on his official Instagram on Saturday.
Overall, 59.4 million of Indonesia’s 270 million are fully vaccinated, and an additional 43.2 million are partially vaccinated. Indonesia has confirmed more than 4.2 million cases and 142,811 deaths from COVID-19, the most common in Southeast Asia.
Tourists from 19 countries, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Lichtenstein, Italy, France, Portugal and Spain, visit the provinces of Bali and Liau. You can now visit. , Sweden, Poland, Hungary, Norway.
Associated Press writers Niniek Karmini and Edna Tarigan in Jakarta, Indonesia contributed to this report.
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