Bali Governor Wayan Koster said he’s scratching his head over religious ceremonies and problematic tourists on the island, saying he’s being scolded by Indonesian ministers for failing to keep them in check in recent weeks.
On separate occasions, Koster said that ministers from Jakarta have been sending him photos and clips showing religious ceremonies taking place amid the pandemic as well as tourists violating local regulations.
“Honestly, whenever something happens in Bali involving foreign nationals violating [the law], I always get videos or photos sent to me from ministers in Jakarta,” Koster said at a press conference yesterday, when he announced the deportation of one such foreigner.
A Russian woman named Se Leia AKA Lisha has just been deported from Indonesia, after a video that showed her wandering around a supermarket with a painted face mask drew ire across the country. Authorities have since deemed her guilty of violating a gubernatorial regulation mandating mask use in public.
As the COVID-19 situation worsened in a number of countries, such as in India, Koster has also been warned to be extra cautious in allowing religious ceremonies in Bali, where such events are not currently prohibited.
“I have asked for strict implementation of health protocols. No prohibition, but [ceremonies] should not be unrestrained either. A number of traditional villages have indeed conducted ceremonies as if it’s normal times,” Koster acknowledged.
He then warned about the risks of transmissions, especially with new variants detected, though officials have yet to indicate that stricter regulations may be coming.