The Bali provincial administration reopened beaches in Denpasar and Badung regency on Thursday, under “strict health protocols”.
Bali COVID-19 task force spokesperson I Dewa Gede Rai said that the number of visitors to each beach would be limited.
As Bali began officially reopening on Thursday after 3 months of lockdown, officials want to keep the infection rate down so the island can move forward with reopening to foreign tourists in September.
“For example, only 75 people are allowed on Bali Beach [in Sanur]. The number of new visitors will be determined by the number of visitors leaving the beach,” he said on Wednesday, as quoted by kompas.com.
Dewa explained that each beach’s capacity was based on the length of the coastline. For example, Bali Beach has a coastline of about 3 kilometers and is assumed to have a capacity of around 1,000 to 1,500 visitors.
He added that the entrances to the beaches would be guarded by COVID-19 task force officials who are tasked with “strictly enforcing health protocols”.
The traditional chief of Intaran village in Sanur, AA Alit Kencana, said that activities on Intaran beach would be limited to exercising according to the Jakarta Post.
“The virus transmission is not as high in open spaces, but we still need to adhere to the health protocols,” he said.
According to Alit, Intaran Beach in Sanur stretches approximately 6 kilometers. He said that with physical distancing of 2 meters, “around 3,000 people are ideally allowed to get access to the beach.”
“However, during the first phase, we are only allowing 1,200 people to visit Intaran Beach,” he said, adding that the capacity would be gradually increased depending on the situation.
The visitor cap comes after a week of new protocols that all visitors need to know before visiting Bali beaches.
According to the official government count, Bali, home to some 4.2 million people, had recorded 2,024 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 26 deaths as of Thursday. The island has been hit hard by the pandemic as tourist arrivals fell to nearly zero in the weeks following the first reported COVID-19 cases in the country.
On Monday, Bali Governor I Wayan Koster announced a three-step plan to reopen public and business facilities in compliance with the so-called “new normal” policies as the island prepares to welcome foreign visitors on Sept. 11.