Penglipuran village, a beloved tourist destination in Bali’s Bangli regency famous for its preservation of traditional culture on the daily, is temporarily closing access for tourists starting today as part of an effort to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19.
Penglipuran village chief, Wayan Supat, told Kompas that the decision was made after a meeting with the local residents.
“The decision was made through a traditional village meeting, there is a wish from the residents that the village be closed,” Supat was quoted as saying.
Penglipuran will be closed from March 18 to March 30, during which access is prohibited for both domestic and foreign tourists.
“The tourist object is the village, so there are people living here. Therefore we decided to close it,” Supat added, explaining that the decision also follows the social distancing advisory that was issued by the Bali provincial government and suggested by President Joko Widodo.
The village ordinarily welcomes about 700 tourists daily, but has only received about 300 visitors since the novel coronavirus outbreak began several months ago.
“Even if we are to remain open, there are less visitors coming in anyway, and the safety of our residents is the priority,” Supat said.
At the time of publication, Penglipuran Village appears to be the only tourist destination in Bali that has announced temporary closure for tourists amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.