Bali gov’t eases some COVID restrictions as province reports record 1,111 new daily cases

A police officer checking papers required to travel between regions in Bali during Emergency PPKM. Photo: Buleleng Police
A police officer checking papers required to travel between regions in Bali during Emergency PPKM. Photo: Buleleng Police

The coronavirus outbreak in Bali is not showing any signs of slowing down with the province reporting a new daily record of 1,111 cases today, but the rapid escalation has been met with some eased restrictions that are expected to last until at least the end of this week. 

Bali’s new daily record broke on the last day of the Emergency Enforcement of Restrictions on Public Activities (Emergency PPKM) that started in early July, and while you’d think the situation would result in an extension to the tighter restrictions, officials have instead announced that a few restrictions had been eased. 

According to a new circular issued today, businesses in the non-essential sector across Bali are now allowed to operate at 25 percent capacity until 9pm, after they were mandated to close completely under the first phase of the Emergency PPKM. 

In addition, restaurants and other types of food sellers are now allowed to operate for an extra hour until 9pm. While the official circular stated that restaurants are only allowed to open for delivery and takeaways, a statement issued by the provincial government is using a more ambiguous diction.

“[It is] recommended that they prioritize deliveries,” the statement, available on the province’s official social media pages, reads. 

It’s certainly the kind of language that is dangerously open to interpretation, especially during a time that’s proving to be very challenging to earn a living. At the time of writing, one user has already commented: “[Dine-in] is allowed, they only said [delivery is] recommended, no prohibition.” 

Bali government’s latest circular on Level 3 PPKM, which is applicable until July 25, slightly differs from the new PPKM rules issued by the Home Affairs Minister last night, as those still mandates the non-essential sector to close completely. Seven Bali regions are currently categorized as Level 3. 

A total of 8,060 people are now being treated for COVID-19 in Bali, according to data from the provincial government. With another 23 deaths recorded today, 280 people have died due to COVID-19 in July alone, making this the deadliest month during the pandemic.

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