Bali to welcome international tourists again in September

Bali, a popular tourist destination in the islands of Indonesia, will allow international tourists again beginning September 11.

The province entered phase one of three of reopening on Thursday after a three-month shut down. This phase allows some operations to resume in the agricultural, construction and government industries, among others. Schools and tourism-related businesses will remain closed. The second phase, starting on July 31, will permit domestic tourists, and the third phase, in which international tourists are welcome, begins on September 11.

Throughout the phases, the Bali government urges “order, discipline and responsibility” by encouraging residents and visitors to wear face coverings, avoid crowds and frequently wash their hands.

“With these efforts, we have been able to manage the COVID-19 [virus], but we still do not know for sure when the pandemic will end, considering that we have not found the vaccine,” reads a press release by the Bali Tourism Board. “Therefore we must strive to manage COVID-19, while at the same time start working again for the sake of human life. This activity will be done gradually, selective[ly, and [on a] limited [basis].”

Bali, which generally sees approximately 5 million tourists per year, relies on the tourism industry as its main source of income.

“The pandemic has hit [the] tourism sector so badly [and] there is no certainty when it will end,” Bali’s Gov. Wayan Koster said. “We have to revive economic activity to prevent Bali from new social problems due to increasing economic pressures.”

As of Sunday, Indonesia as a whole had reported more than 75,000 cases of the novel coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. In Bali, about 2,000 cases have been reported.

Koster said the government will impose guidelines for reopening tourist areas in the midst of the pandemic and will consider closing certain areas again if infections spike, the Associated Press reported.

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