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More information is surfacing regarding the reopening of Bali to international visitors. 

Indonesia is reviewing a plan for Bali to reopen for international visitors amid concerns the move will compromise the country’s effort to stop the spread of Covid-19.

State-Owned Enterprises Minister, Erick Thohir who is overseeing daily operations of the country’s coronavirus taskforce was asked if the government will go ahead with Bali’s plan to reopen for tourism. 

“We don’t want the program that makes Indonesia healthy to become compromised by the plan to allow foreign tourists to come. It could create possible new clusters,” Thohir said in an online discussion on Saturday.

 “Therefore, the committee has decided to review this plan to allow foreign tourists to come.”

Kuta Beach Aerial view

Foreign tourists generate billions of dollars in revenue and are a critical part of Indonesia’s economy he said. 

The resort island started to welcome back domestic tourists on July 31, with appropriate health and safety protocols in place, but their return will not offset the absence of international tourists. About 6.3 million foreign tourists visited Bali last year.

Domesitc tourists in Bali

Earlier in the week contradicting statements regarding Bali’s reopening came from another top official within the Indonesian government. 

Influential cabinet member Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said on August 11th, that the country would not “hurry” to reopen its borders but plans to begin accepting foreign tourists starting on September 11 were on track.

Then on August 13th, Pandjaitan contradicted what he had said earlier in the week, “We want 70 percent of domestic tourists. The problem of foreign tourists is that we will not accept it until the end of the year. Let us first consolidate.”

Bali pool overlooking jungle

On August 8th, another top government official chimed in on Bali’s potential reopening. 

Assistant Deputy for Sustainable Tourism Development at the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Kosmas Hareva, said that Indonesia Government is studying the removal of Decree Number 11 of 2020 which bans foreign tourists from the country. 

“We will consider it carefully, we see the dynamics. If the Task Force says it’s getting better and there is an agreement with several partner countries, then of course it will be removed” he added in a video conference on Friday (7/8).

bali rice paddy

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