More than 19,000 workers in Bali told to stay home as COVID-19 hits local economy hard

File photo of a woman in Ubud. Photo: Unsplash
File photo of a woman in Ubud. Photo: Unsplash

More than 19,000 workers in Bali were told to stay home, while nearly 500 have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to the latest data from the provincial government, with officials expecting the numbers to climb in the coming weeks.

“There are 19,124 formal workers who have been instructed to stay home. While 480 have been laid off,” head of Bali’s Manpower Agency, Ida Bagus Ngurah Arda, told Detik.

He added that the data is expected to change and will likely continue to increase, given COVID-19’s massive impact on the tourism industry, which contributes to around 48 percent to the island’s economy.

However, Arda did not specify whether the workers were put on unpaid leave or given some percentage of their salary, nor did he mention the numbers of informal workers that may have also been impacted. 

As of April 7, Badung regency⁠ — where some of the island’s most popular hotels and restaurants are located — alone recorded more than 12,000 workers who have been instructed to stay at home. 

Ida Bagus Oka Dirga, who heads the regency’s Industry and Manpower Agency, previously said that the recent data jumped from around 2,000 on April 3, as reported by BeritaSatu. 

“Right now, with the hotels empty, of course workers will burden the operational cost. That’s why they have instructed them to stay home. However, we do hope they won’t be laying off [these workers],” I Made Badra, who heads the Tourism Agency in Badung, told Tribun previously.

Some hotels in Bali have moved to suspend operations entirely, while others are rolling out cheap promotions on long-term stays to attract potential customers. 

Read Also – No Large-Scale Social Restrictions policy for Bali just yet, provincial government says

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