A much-needed additional flow of tourism traffic came to Bali over the long holiday weekend held in conjunction with the Prophet Mohamad’s birthday in the closing days of October 2020.
While the number of total visitors is still being calculated, traffic watcher said the peak traffic period would occur on Saturday, 31 October, and Sunday 01 November 2020.
NusaBali reports that at the start of the holiday period on Thursday, 29 October 2020, during 24 hours, 4,080 vehicles carrying 7,552 passengers crossed the Straits from Ketapang, East Java to Gilimanuk, Bali. Broken down further, of the 4,080 vehicles traveling from Java to Bali during the same period, 3,345 were four-wheeled transport and 735 motorcycles. The 3,345 four-wheeled transport was comprised of 2,054 sedans, 54 large buses, 21 medium-sized buses, 216 container-trucks, 256 large trucks, and 746 medium-sized trucks.
On the same date – Thursday, 29 October 2020, the number of vehicles leaving Bali for Java totaled 4,456 vehicles carrying 5,534 passengers. The 4,456 vehicles included 2,865 four-wheeled transport and 1,591 motorcycles. The four-wheeled transport broken down further saw 1,607 vehicles, 48 large buses, 31 medium-sized buses, 234 container trucks, 229 large trucks, and 715 medium-sized trucks.
The Chief of Police for the Port Area Precinct at Gilimanuk in Bali, I Gusti Nyoman Sudarsana, confirmed traffic began to peak on Thursday, 29 October 2020. Bali’s inbound traffic was the most significant increase in private sedans, while outbound traffic to Java showed the largest increase in motorcycles.
Ironically, the increase in traffic flow represented an increase over the reduced volume during the continuing Pandemic, but compared to regular traffic flows across the Straits before the current crisis, then the traffic flows were on par with normal cross-strait flows in a non-holiday period.
All people entering Bali over the long-holiday weekend via the Ketapang-Gilimanuk ferry crossing were required to present proof of a negative “non-reactive” COVID-19 test as required under regulations issued by Bali Governor Wayan Koster.
Passengers landing at the Bali Port of Gilimanuk without proof of a “negative” COVID-19 test are referred to a clinic at the Port to undergo a Rapid Test.
The Strait’s peak traffic occurred on Saturday, 31 October, and Sunday, 01 November 2020.
Further evidence of a heightened level of domestic tourists visiting Bali over the long holiday weekend was seen in South Bali at Kuta, where normally quiet streets showed heavier traffic.
On Friday, 31 October 2020, many license plates from destinations outside the Province of Bali were seen traveling in Kuta, with traffic expected to operate at higher levels until Sunday, 31 October 2020, when domestic travelers were scheduled to travel home.