Balipost.com and the State News Agency Antara quote Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Indonesia’s Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, revealing official plans to reopen Bali to international and domestic tourism once the number of COVID-19 cases on the Island declines.
During a coordinating meeting on tourism recovery held on Thursday, 25 February 2021, Luhut said that economic activity, including tourism, will resume in conjunction with the strict implementation of health protocols. “The number of COVID-19 cases in Bali over the past few weeks has shown a reduction in new cases. This decline in new cases is due to the desire to reopen the economy and the strict implementation of health protocols in all areas of Bali down to the village level,” explained Luhut.
Deporting Scofflaw Foreign Visitors
Luhut said the government would continue to socialize the rules and regulations related to Bali tourism, particularly as this applies to foreign tourists. Adding: “New regulation for Bali will be dubbed ‘Penalty for Health Protocols.’ These new regulations will be socialized and launched via publications and by other socialization tactics explaining the health protocols, the monitoring of health protocols, violations of health regulations, administrative sanctions for first-time violators, and, if needed, deportation for foreigners who refused to submit to health protocols,”
On another front, the government is preparing COVID-19 vaccinations for 13,000 workers at hospitals in Bali to bolster public faith in the safety of visiting Bali.
Luhut said the government would continue to augment facilities and required in connection with COVID-19 cases in Bali, including preparations for the KTT G-20 Summit. Indonesia is also now actively inviting foreign ambassadors assigned to Indonesia to personally visit Bali to see the measures to control the coronavirus and protect foreign tourists.
In a final warning note, Luhut said those failing to support efforts to control COVID-19 and violating regulations and health protocols would face tough sanctions under the law, regardless of their nationality.