As the G20 Summit conference kicks off in Bali, there are dozens of changes to everyday life on the island that will have a knock-on effect on tourists. From road closures to security officials on the beaches, from private VVIP visits to leading attractions and flight changes, here is everything you need to know about what’s happening in Bali in the next week.
Road closures and diversions are already in place across southern parts of the island. An odd-even traffic management system is in place along ten major routes from Bali Airport to Nusa Dua. The system is in place to help reduce the concentration of vehicles on the road, leading to less congestion. The odd-even system allows vehicles with an odd-number license plate to pass on odd-numbered calendar days and even-number license plates to pass on even calendar days.
The odd-even system will run from 6 am-11 pm on 11th-17th November. For more information, read our explainer here.
In addition to the odd-even system, a diverted route is in place for drivers heading to and from Bali Airport and resorts in Nusa Dua. Tourists must detour so that heads of state and G20 official traffic can travel unimpeded. The Nusa Dua-Airport diversion is already in place and will end on the 18th of November.
At Bali Airport, over 100 additional staff have been put on duty over the days surrounding the G20. The new VVIP terminal building, which was inaugurated by President Joko Widodo earlier this week, is welcoming heads of state. Ministers and other officials will be welcomed into the VIP terminal. In contrast, delegates and other G20 attendees will arrive at the international terminal but will be processed through a specific G20 fast lane.
The Head of Immigration at Ngurah Rai, Sugito, told the media in recent weeks that the influx of international delegations may impact tourists. He said that the airport and immigration had done all they could to ensure that everyone had an efficient airport experience but that there may be queues during peak hours from 2 pm – 8 pm and 9 pm – 11 pm.
Private flights take priority; therefore, travelers on commercial flights should check in with their airline regularly in the coming days and be prepared for any last-minute changes to their flight schedule.
Tourists in Bali will notice an increase in a security presence on the streets and at key tourism destinations, including famous beaches. The Pol Airud Tabanan Resort Police have confirmed that they are tightening their security efforts as of Thursday, 10th November. Tourists can expect to see uniformed officers from Nyanyi Beach, Kediri District, to the west coast of Soka Beach, West Selemadeg District.
The Head of Tabanan Resort Police, AKP I Wayan Putra Yadnya, told reporters, “Security synergizes with the TNI, Balawista, and community components.” During the patrols, the police will also run community socialisations, giving updates about health protocols and Covid-19. Yadnya said, “Let’s all succeed and support so that the implementation of the G20 Summit runs safely and smoothly without the presence of Covid-19.”
There will be an increase in police, army, and other security forces on the streets in popular tourist hotspots from Kita through to Canggu during the G20 events. Though the main event will be held on the 15th and 16th of November, the main security operations started on the 8th of November and will run through to the 18th.
Four of Bali’s leading tourist attractions, Tanah Lot, Jatiluwih, Ulun Danu Beratan, and Pinge Tourism Village, are all preparing to host VVIP visitors. Yet, the schedule remains flexible. VVIP visitors or any official G20 visitors will take priority over tourists, though it is unclear whether the four venues will close completely.
According to the Head of the Tabanan Tourism Office, I Gusti Ngurah Agung Suryana, the four venues are prepared to welcome official visits at any time during the conference period, and teams will respond accordingly.
While most security officers are in uniform, there have been reports of plain-clothed officers working around Bali. Local fishermen Mahendra, 20, and Rudi, 19, were approached by covert police officers on Kelan Beach in South Kuta. They were instructed to stop fishing and cited a series of G20-related circular directives that control activities during the event, including fishing.
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