Hotel staff in Bali reportedly subject to half-month shifts amid coronavirus outbreak

File photo of a sunset scene in Bali. Photo: Pixabay
File photo of a sunset scene in Bali. Photo: Pixabay

The outbreak of COVID-19 has posed a major challenge for the tourism sector, with hotels in Bali now reportedly imposing a half-month shifts policy for their staff in order to manage low occupancy rates due to dwindling travelers visiting the island. 

“I have received information that several hotels are applying 15-day work shifts and 15-day off shifts,” I Gusti Agung Ngurah Rai Suryawijaya said yesterday, as quoted by Kumparan

Suryawijaya, who is the head of Badung chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), also said that some staff have opted to stay at home rather than picking up the half-month shifts. 

“If they are made to stay home I hope they will still receive their base salary at the minimum, because employees have big responsibilities,” he added. 

The Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister, Luhut Pandjaitan, previously said that some hotels in Bali are seeing an average 10 percent occupancy rate — down from the usual 60 to 70 percent — because people are traveling less amid the global pandemic. 

“The number of tourists have decreased significantly. Some hotels in Bali have only 10 percent [occupancy],” Luhut said, as quoted by Tempo

The possibility of layoffs looms large at this point with Suryawijaya agreeing on the possibility, should the low number of tourists continue for more than three months. 

“But within these [next] three months, we hope that businesses will not conduct layoffs. Because layoffs will have a huge impact on the employees and their families,” he said. 

Indonesia is showing a trajectory for exponential growth of COVID-19 cases in the country after the government announced 82 new infections yesterday, taking the country’s official caseload to 309.

Starting today, Indonesia is suspending all of its visa waiver programs for one month, therefore requiring foreign travelers intending to visit Indonesia during this period to present a health certificate from their respective national health authority upon applying for a visa. 

Read also ⁠— Holiday in the Time of COVID-19: How global coronavirus outbreak is affecting Bali’s tourism sector

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