Bali delays reopening to foreign tourists due to a spike in Covid-19 cases. The coronavirus pandemic has devastated the economy of Bali, which has long drawn tourists due to its spectacular beaches, food, vibrant nightlife, and distinct Hindu culture. Coronavirus cases have risen by a large number in Indonesia in the recent weeks, including Bali which has seen a four-fold increase in the past month, albeit from a low base, to around 200 cases per day, according to official data.

 “We were targeting the end of July, beginning of August, but we just have to be mindful of where we are in this recent spike (in coronavirus cases),” Indonesia’s Minister for Tourism and the Cultural Economy, Mr. Sandiaga Uno, told Reuters last week. “We will be waiting for the situation to be more conducive.”

Bali delays reopening to foreign tourists, Uno also stated that they hoped to reduce the infection and break the chain of transmission of the virus to reduce Bali’s daily coronavirus infections to 30 or 40 before reopening. According to data released by the World Health Organization, the true extent of Bali’s infections is obscured by its low testing rates, which stand at 15% of the minimum recommended by the WHO.

According to Mr. Uno, the Indonesian government prioritized vaccinations in Bali and was seeing good early results because most people infected with coronavirus had only mild symptoms. Almost 71% of Balinese residents had received their first vaccine dose and the target of full vaccination for 70% of the population can be met by the end of July, according to health officials. Hospital bed occupancy rates also showed a dramatic rise, as the densely populated island of Java approached 100%. The government has also said that domestic visitors to Bali will now be required to undergo a PCR test before entering the island, as part of an effort to protect the island from the pandemic.

Bali hopes to open up as soon as they see a drop in cases, as the travel and tourism industry requires a boost for its sectors.


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