As the Bali government has announced the reopening of designated green zones for international tourists to open first, the Indonesian Health Ministry has said the full reopening of Bali’s borders won’t follow until April of 2022.
Indonesian Health Minister, Budi Gunadi Sadikin has mapped out steps in which all of Bali would be safely accessible to international visitors, and according to him, it will take at least one year. “Our plan is not to quickly open our borders but to be the safest tourist destination,” said Budi. The three phase reopening plan has been announced and is already drawing harsh criticism from Bali tourism workers.
Budi plans to show the world that Bali has successfully controlled the COVID-19 pandemic, before opening to tourists. “We as the Health Ministry want Bali to gain more trust from other international governments by showing them how we handle the pandemic in our areas,” Budi Sadiki said during the meeting in Bebek Tepi Sawah Restaurant Ubud on Friday afternoon (12/3).
He said that the tourism sector and residents of Bali must be patient in order to successfully reopen. “I completely understand that it’s hard for the people of Bali who are so dependant on tourism to make a living, but our target is not to quickly open our border. We are aiming to be the best and safest tourist destination in the world, with strict prevention protocols,” Budi Gunadi added.
Budi plans to reopen the international travel corridor in three phases:
Phase 1: reopening the green zones such as Nusa Dua and Ubud which starts from March to June 2021 while the vaccine rollout is being distributed to tourism workers
Phase 2: authorities will implement strict supervision to all locals moving in and out of the green zones which will between July to December 2021
Phase 3: the government will start to reopen the border to the select countries as a simulation program which will start from January to March 2022 before finally reopening the border to all international tourists in April 2022.
Budi also aims to hold a meeting with WHO and UNICEF in Bali as an indicator that this program is successful to gain trust from the international world.
“I have communicated this plan to Bali Governor, so we will see how it works in the near future” Budi Gunadi concluded.