Officials in Bali have confirmed to reporters that the latest round of Covid-19 booster vaccinations for tourism workers is not connected to China reopening its borders. Officials from the Bali Tourism Office have told the media that the drive to give tourism workers their booster vaccine comes from an existing government mandate. The news comes as China reopened its orders for international travel on the Sunday 8th January.
The Head of the Bali Tourism Office, Tjokorda Bagus Pemayun, told reporters that he and his teams have yet to receive any correspondence from the Indonesian government or the Chinese consulate regarding the resumption of travel from mainland China. It remains the case that there are no direct flights from mainland China to I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar.
He said, “I have heard that Chinese tourists are going to [come to] Bali for a long time. But there is no official news yet. With the Chinese Consulate coordinating, there is no news about that. We are just waiting.”
He continued to explain, “the vaccine is a government program, [this booster campaign] is not really for welcoming Chinese tourists. Because there is [already] a program, previously it was mandatory for health workers, the elderly, and tourism workers.”
Pemayun’s statements were reiterated by the Chairman of the Bali Tourism Board, Ida Magus Agung Partha Adnyana, who said there is no change in the booster vaccine program plan.
He told reporters that the second round of booster vaccines would be carried out as stated in guidelines form the government and is not as a response to China reopening its borders and case loads in the country reportedly rising. Adnyaya told reporters, “it is being arranged for next week to start the vaccine [booster program].”
He said that the situation regarding travel restrictions and levels of Covid-19 remains under constant surveillance. He confirmed that tourism operators would continue activities in alignment with instructions from the government as stated in the last updates, citing the Task Force Circular Letter Number 35 of 2022 concerning Guidelines for International Travel by Land Transportation for the 2019 Coronavirus Pandemic.
Adnyana said, “Later we [may] receive directions from the task force referring to the old regulations, such as if laboratory testing is required, I will receive directions from the task force if there is an increase in cases it will be reviewed. It is dynamic.”
He added, “all tourism workers are vaccinated, starting from guides to hotel workers; the vaccine is prepared by the Bali Tourism Board, and now the second booster vaccine [will be ready for] health workers, the elderly, and tourism workers”.
Statements from both Pemayun and Adnyana come just days after tourism leader Wisnu Arimbawa told reporters he felt that Bali should consider the legislation that other countries are putting in place for international travelers from China. Australia, India, Japan, the United States, and the UK have re-introduced pre-travel PCR testing in light of China reopening its borders.
Now all travelers from China to these destinations are required to show proof of a negative Covid test before traveling. However, most countries across South East Asia have not implemented such legalization, Indonesia included. Travel operators have highlighted how this ‘fuss-free’ travel will appeal to many travelers from China.
Arimbawa said, “I think the policies of a number of countries in the world that require Chinese tourists to show a negative Covid-19 test result within 72 hours deserve consideration. We still hope that many foreign tourists will come in, but don’t let us go too far so that it will actually trigger [positive Covid-19] cases to increase. Don’t let us start from zero again when in fact, we already want to declare zero cases of Covid-19”.
Plan Your Next Bali Vacation:
Book The Best English Speaking Drivers For Airport Transfers & Tours
Choose From Thousands of Bali Hotels, Resorts, and Hostels with Free Cancellation On Most Properties
For the latest Bali News & Debate Join our Facebook Community
SUBSCRIBE TO NEW POSTS
Enter your email address to subscribe to The Bali Sun’s latest breaking news, straight to your inbox.