Indonesia won’t reopen to foreign tourists until end of 2020, Bali governor says

File photo of Ulun Danu Beratan Temple in Bedugul, Tabanan regency. Photo: Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry
File photo of Ulun Danu Beratan Temple in Bedugul, Tabanan regency. Photo: Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry

Unpack your bags if you’d held out hope of visiting Bali this year, as it looks increasingly more likely that Indonesia won’t reopen to foreign tourists so soon after all.

Bali Governor Wayan Koster was the latest official to put out a statement saying that Indonesia will keep its border closed for the remainder of this year.

“The Indonesian government is still enforcing the policy that forbids its citizens to travel abroad, until at least the end of 2020,” Koster said in a statement issued yesterday.

As of this morning, Bali has recorded 4,576 COVID-19 cases, including 53 deaths and 516 patients in treatment. Meanwhile, Indonesia has reported 153,535 coronavirus cases as of yesterday. 

Bali started welcoming domestic tourists at the end of last month, following a tentative timeline set by the provincial government in mid-June that included reopening to foreign tourists in September. 

Seeing as how Indonesia has not shown any signs of slowing down the coronavirus outbreak five months into the pandemic, the plan appeared out of touch with the current reality even as it remained tentative. However, it appears that officials have decided to scrap the plan altogether at this point, according to recent official statements. 

In addition, it’s not like other countries have started allowing their citizens to resume normal travel anyway. Koster mentioned in his statement, for example, that countries such as Australia, China, South Korea, and Japan, plan on allowing its citizens to travel starting in 2021. 

Previously, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan also said that Indonesia will not be welcoming any foreign tourists until the end of the year. 

In the country’s bid to revive the economy and the national tourism industry, officials will instead focus on boosting domestic tourism.

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