Bali remains closed to international tourism, but local authorities have hinted at a new “green zone” within the island to welcome back travelers from abroad.
Bali “Green Zone” Proposed By Governor
During a virtual press conference on Monday, Bali Governor Wayan Koster laid out plans for a new safe area within Bali that would allow the island to re-open to tourism in lower risk areas.
“Myself and the Health Ministry agreed to open the green zone area, so both domestic and international travelers will be only allowed to visit these COVID-19 free areas.”
Indonesian Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno added:
“After observing the Covid-19 cases in the last several weeks in Bali, I think it’s time for us to start reopening our border one step at a time for international visitors with strict prevention protocols in place.”
Uno has been operating his office from Bali for the last two months, noting that tourism is critical to the island’s economy. Per the Bali Sun, he further indicated that the potential green zone could include:
- Nusa Dua
- Nusa Penida
The announcement comes as Bali struggles to vaccinate its residents, particularly workers in the tourism sector. Despite Indonesian government efforts to convince citizens of the safety and efficacy of the virus, resistance remains, with many skeptical of the side effects.
A government official from the Ministry of Maritime and Investment reiterated this point:
“I urge to all the people in Bali, especially in the tourism sector to stop worrying about the side effect of the COVID-19 vaccine, as the government has ensured that the vaccine is safe to be injected.”
Bali is using the Chinese-made Sinovac vaccine and expects to vaccinate 600,000 by July (with a population of over 4 million). The vaccination plan calls for vaccinating up to 70% of residents by the end of the year.
While the prospect of Bali re-opening is exciting, especially with a new Andaz in Sanur (pictured above) opening on April 1st, we’ve been repeatedly teased before with hints of opening only to see the government pull back. Realistically, I would not expect borders to re-open for 3-4 months at the earliest.
“Despite Indonesian government efforts to convince citizens of the safety and efficacy of the virus..”
That would certainly be an uphill battle.
What kind of “strict prevention protocols” will there be? Depending on what those entail, it may not be worth it.
“I would not expect borders to re-open for 3-4 months at the earliest.”
You are very optimistic.
My bet is Bali will not open this year – even next year will not be easy.
It’s highly unlikely that Australians ( easily the largest group of Bali tourists, by a huge margin) will be allowed to visit this year ( maybe for the peak Christmas season, at the very earliest).
The best bet for Bali is to look at some restricted reopening prior to it happening in major competitors such as Thailand and Sri Lanka. Maybe Europeans would contemplate it , given the apparent strong desire to resume travel ( albeit safely). It’s a popular destination for Dutch ( the colonial ruler) , Germans, Swedes, and Brits ( although not in the same volume as Thailand)
I have my doubts about this proposal. The “green zone” is pretty much the major tourist areas. The result is to create have and have not zones, starving the have nots from tourist income. Also it ignores that many tourist industry workers live outside the proposed districts. I adore Bali and generally favor any realistic suggestion to increase tourism but this just seems like an unrealistic theory.
Lol. Do not believe everything you read online regarding Bali. Few days ago the president himself issue a decree which allow for investment / free reigns of alcoholic drink in several province including Bali. Yet the decree was revoked in few days.
Sorry to say but many foreigners are against mask. Some even goes far as instructing their local employee to not wearing mask also.
That’s because a large % of Australians living in Bali are ratbags and drongos, many of them there to avoid the constraints of what they call the ‘nanny state’. It’s no surprise that they rebel against masks ( just as they have against wearing helmets). Similar groups are found in Thailand. Of course that’s not to say there aren’t many decent expats as well….
And the inevitable happened: a Russian man and Ukrainian woman arrested in Padangbai with fake PCB tests…
I saw the story on Coconuts, but it didn’t explain how they were allowed into the country in the first place.
They’d come from Lombok , the adjacent province, but Bali requires a negative test for all arrivals ( even from within the country). I read the Coconuts piece but , as you say, it’s short on detail about how they got into Indonesia initially.
Why on Earth would the Balinese people be skeptical about government advise? It’s almost as though they don’t believe the government has their best interests at heart…
Bali should consider removing all their garbage from their beaches first ,,in addition they should stop considering ,,,they don’t know what consider is if it hit them between their legs