After previously calling on people to continue staying at home on the day after Nyepi earlier this week, the Bali provincial government has extended the appeal until at least March 30, as part of an effort to help contain the spread of COVID-19 on the island.
In a circular issued yesterday by the Information and Communication Agency in Bali, everyone is now expected to “maximize efforts in preventing the spread of COVID-19 by limiting activities outside the home and reducing interactions with other people.”
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The appeal, addressed to the people of Bali, says exceptions to working and studying at home should only be for “urgent matters.”
Nightlife businesses are also expected to stop their operations temporarily.
According to reports, local authorities closed off access to a number of streets yesterday, making it difficult for some people to acquire basic necessities. It appears that the appeal was enforced as a rule by the local police and pecalang (traditional Balinese security forces), when it is perceived as more of a suggestion by the public.
The Russian Embassy in Jakarta, which arranged a Denpasar-Moscow flight for Russian nationals yesterday, had even requested Bali Governor I Wayan Koster to help instruct local authorities to allow the expected passengers to go to the airport.
As a result, the most recent circular also contained an instruction to mayors and regents as well as traditional villages to refrain from closing the streets in their areas to allow for easy access for residents.
However, the circular doesn’t appear to include any instructions for business owners in regards to their employees or working hours, which therefore leaves compliance to individuals.
Bali has nine confirmed cases of COVID-19, including two deaths of foreign nationals. As of yesterday afternoon, a total of 114 patients are under observation on the island.
Read more news and updates from Bali here.