Bali beach clubs made scapegoat as Indonesian official highlights health protocol violations

File photo of a beach club in Bali. Photo: Unsplash
File photo of a beach club in Bali. Photo: Unsplash

A senior Indonesian official made special mention of beach clubs and bars in Bali when talking about health protocol violations, warning of dire consequences even though COVID-19 cases on the island have thankfully remained low in recent weeks.

During a virtual press conference yesterday, Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said that an official team deployed to observe pandemic curbs adherence found a number of violations in the field, especially in restaurants and beach clubs located in Bali. 

“Beach clubs and bars are operating without limiting capacity, there is no physical distancing, and no enforcement from management to implement health protocols during its operational hours. There is no obligation [for guests] to scan the PeduliLindungi QR Code, so the numbers don’t represent the real conditions,” Luhut said.

Last month, Luhut also pointed out that bars and clubs in Bali are avoiding sanctions by prohibiting patrons from posting on social media, despite violating health protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

While violations at Bali beach clubs and bars do happen, Luhut reserving special mention for them somewhat clouds the fact that they happen with regularity pretty much everywhere else, like at wedding receptions, offices, and retail businesses. To be fair to Luhut, though, he also pointed out that some restaurants and cafés in Bandung, West Java have been violating protocol recently, but the minister did not offer any specifics.

The COVID-19 situation in Bali has gradually improved since the major mid-year surge caused by the Delta variant, with officials reporting 8 new cases and one death yesterday. 

Also Read — Bali completes 1st phase of COVID-19 vaccination target

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