Indonesia’s international destination, Bali, had planned to reopen to tourism this fall, but officials and tourism industry executive say that the opening won’t happen anytime soon, as corona virus cases surge and the islands facilities to dispose of people who have died from Covid-19 is struggling to keep up with demand.
According to Australian media, Bali has recorded a total of 9,448 cases and nearing 300 total deaths. The number of deaths has doubled in weeks with Bali recording 100 fatalities on September 4th, doubling to 199 fatalities two weeks later, on September 18th.
Bali had reopened to domestic tourists from the beginning of August in the hopes of restarting its tourism industry, which has been hard hit from the global Covid-19 pandemic. Bali officials had said that although there is no official link between the August reopening and the surge of cases, plans to reopen to international tourists, at the end of September, even on a limited basis, had to be postponed out of an abundance of caution.
Wayan Koster, the Governor of Bali said last week that Indonesia won’t be reopening its borders until at least the end of 2020 and that Bali’s reopening would be delayed to 2021, on the basis that local cases of the Covid-19 virus are controlled, and the national government allows foreigners to enter the country.
Bali ranked second as the most popular destination that tourists want to visit after the pandemic.
Governor Koster said that reopening Bali to international tourists requires extreme caution and careful preparation since it is one of the world’s premiere tourist destinations, and opening to quick, and then having international tourists infected by the virus, or having local citizens further infected would create an extremely negative image of Indonesia that could have long-term affects on the country’s tourism.