Bali will not open to foreign tourists until COVID-19 cases decrease significantly, said Sandiago Uno, Bali Tourism and Cultural Economy Minister. He added that they will be waiting for a more conducive situation to open the tourist hotspot again.
He stated, “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).”
As per the reports, COVID infections have spiked dramatically in Indonesia in recent weeks, including in Bali, where it has been witnessed that there has been a four-fold increase in cases in the past month, albeit from a low base, to around 200 cases per day.
Uno elaborated that before reopening Bali to foreign tourists, he hopes that the daily infection cases drop to 30 or 40. As per his estimates, 71 percent of Balinese residents have already received their first COVID vaccine dose, and that the target of vaccinating 70 percent of the population might likely be reached by the end of July.
Reportedly, in an effort to protect the destination from the pandemic, domestic visitors will now be required to undergo a RT-PCR test before entering the island. Further, in a move to international entrepreneurs or ‘digital nomads,’, they will be granted five-year visas under a proposed scheme.
As per the trends, tourists hotspots are now eager to capitalise on vaccinated travellers, who now have options ranging from Spain, Greece, and Italy to Seychelles, Maldives, and others. This, in turn, has also created intense competition, with some countries gearing up to offer incentives to visitors.