Foreign travellers banned from tourism hotspot Bali for the rest of the year

Travellers ready for a Bintang beer near the beach are out of luck after the Indonesian island announced it had shut its door to tourists for the remainder of the year.

Foreign tourists won’t be allowed to visit Bali for the rest of 2020 due to coronavirus concerns, its governor said, scrapping a plan to open up the Indonesian island from next month.

Closed shops at Pandawa Beach in Bali.
Closed shops at Pandawa Beach in Bali. Source: AAP

The holiday hotspot popular with Australian travellers re-opened beaches, temples and other tourism spots for domestic visitors at the end of July and had said it would let foreign tourists return on 11 September.

But the plan has now been cancelled over concerns about Indonesia’s mounting coronavirus cases and with many foreign nationals subject to travel bans in their home countries.

Jakarta is also yet to lift its ban on foreign tourists entering Indonesia.

Major tourism spots in Bali are still closed.
Major tourism spots in Bali are still closed.AAP

“The situation in Indonesia is not conducive to allow international tourists to visit Indonesia, including … Bali,” the island’s governor I Wayan Koster said in an official letter dated Saturday.

“The central government supports (Bali’s) plans to recover tourism by opening the doors for international tourists. However, this requires care, prudence, not to be rushed, and requires careful preparation,” it added.

He did not give a new date for allowing foreign tourists to visit.

The volume of flights to and from Bali plummeted during the global pandemic, leaving hotels empty and restaurants struggling to survive. The island has recorded some 49 deaths and just over 4,000 cases of the virus.

“New cases are under control, the recovery rate is increasing and the fatality rate is under control,” Mr Koster said.

Nationwide, Indonesia has seen at last 6,680 virus deaths with more than 153,000 confirmed cases, but the real toll is widely believed to be hidden by limited testing.

SBS NEWS

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