Authorities in Bali have been kept busy with people blatantly ignoring official restrictions and health protocols, with a bar in Kuta’s famous Legian street being the latest to find themselves raided amid a crowded party.
Personnel of the Badung Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) and customary village authorities raided Le Giant Pool & Bar, attended mostly by foreigners, on Thursday evening following reports from local residents that most of the attendees did not wear masks and that physical distancing measures were not imposed.
Footage from the event bring to mind similar raids we’ve seen in recent weeks. Last night, dozens of guests at Le Giant appeared to have partied as if there was no coronavirus; standing close to one another with few to no masks in sight as music blared in the background.
“We stopped [the party] at 8 p.m. It cannot be like that. We must work based on regulations. There was no mask usage or physical distancing,” Kuta customary village chief Wayan Wasista said as reported by kompas on Friday.
Badung Satpol PP chief I Gusti Agung Kerta Suryanegara said his office summoned representatives of the bar’s management for information. The bar, he said, had been asked to close operations starting Friday.
“If they insist on staying open, we will report them to the Kuta Police,” he said.
Following plans to gradually reopen the economy in Indonesia, many resorts and entertainment spots in Bali have enforced social distancing measures and other health protocols to prevent COVID-19 transmission.
Authorities dispersed the crowd there after it was reported that most customers were not wearing masks.
A recent spiritual gathering in Ubud also caught the public’s attention after it was found that large crowds there had failed to adhere to COVID-19 health protocol.
The provincial government in Bali has issued various restrictions since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, but stopped short of going into a full lockdown. Restaurants and cafes in the province have been permitted to stay open, bearing health protocols in mind and with a curfew of 9pm, though Suryanegara noted that the curfew has been extended to 11pm since June 1.
However, bars and nightclubs are not permitted to open, whereas live music performances are strictly prohibited. Any tourism-related businesses are also obliged to report and verify their reopening to local officials, Head of Satpol PP Badung, I Gusti Agung Kerta Suryanegara said.
Bali has recorded 1,263 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 11 deaths and 730 recoveries, according to national COVID-19 task force data released Friday.
Two out of the nine cities and regencies of Bali – Denpasar and Karangasem – are considered high-risk zones by the central government, while six areas, including Badung, are medium-risk zones.