Tourism Bali Indonesia – Minister Walks Back Backpacker Ban
Comments by Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs and Investment that initially threatened Indonesia would actively ban backpacker tourists, have now been walked back. The Indonesian Government is now assuring that “all” foreign tourists would be permitted to visit the Country.
As reported on Tuesday, 14 September 2021, by Kompas.com, the spokesperson for the Coordinating Minister, Jodi Mahardi, sought to clarify Luhut’s comments made during a working visit to Bali. Luhut was quoted directly announcing that Indonesia did not want low-quality tourists, specifically signaling that backpackers would not be allowed to holiday in the country.
Tourism Bali Indonesia – Commenting on Luhut’s comments, widely reported in the mainstream press, indicating backpackers would be refused entry to Indonesia, Mahardi said on Tuesday, 14 September 2021: “This was just a misunderstanding. What was meant were visitors who disobey regulations or protocols on health, law, and immigration.”
Jodi Mahardi continued, saying Luhut’s early statements concerned not allowing foreign tourists to enter Indonesia when they fail to meet international travel requirements set forth by the Government during the PPKM shutdown. Mahardi emphasized that the Government of Indonesia continues to provide the opportunity for foreign tourists to holiday in the country. Adding: “Bali will stay open for all tourists who fulfill foreign travel requirements before arriving in Indonesia. Indonesia shall continue to work to promote its tourism sector in a way that is sustainable and safe for its visitors.”
Signaling that Bali may soon reopen to international travel, the Indonesian Government has decreed that international tourism will reopen despite the continuing PPKM lockdown levels. Foreign tourists will be required to present a certificate proving they are fully vaccinated and have undertaken an RT PCR Swab Test, and have been quarantined upon arrival for eight days.
Luhut Pandjaitan affirmed the island would be reopened to international tourism if the Province could reduce its PPKM level to Category 3.
Confusion prevailed when Minister Pandjaitan told the press in Bali that foreign tourists given priority in entering Bali would be “quality tourists and not backpackers.” In comments subsequently walked back, Minister Luhut said: “In the future, arriving tourists would be filtered. We don’t want backpackers coming so that Bali can be clean and people who come will be of quality.”
Tourism Bali Indonesia – Heading Toward an Endemic Future
Tempo.co reports that Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced on Friday, 10 September 2021, that the Nation is preparing to transition its COVID-19 response from a pandemic to an endemic situation.
Speaking while attending a mass vaccination event for students with special needs in Yogyakarta, President Widodo said that the coronavirus would not disappear anytime soon. The public must learn to control and live with the virus as a fact of life.
President Widodo said, “We must start preparing the transition from a pandemic to an endemic and learn how to live together with COVID.”
The President joined a chorus of similar statements from other national and regional leaders urging the public not to be carried away by a sense of euphoria resulting from a recent drop in new COVID-19 cases. Widodo emphasized that health protocols and the wearing of masks must become a daily way of life.
Commenting separately, Indonesian Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin said public activities across the country would gradually resume in accordance with each region’s PPKM category based on rates of new infections. At the same time, the government will intensify its continuing program of COVID-19 testing, tracing, and treatment. In combination with an aggressive mass vaccination program, these measures are expected to reduce the possibility of future surges in COVID-19.
In harmony with the President’s announcement, Sadikin said the public needs to comprehend that the Nation’s future course will be transitioning from a pandemic response to the virus to an endemic atmosphere where the disease is controlled by every means available. Tourism Bali Indonesia
Indonesia’s Finance Minister, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, has also joined the chorus depicting Indonesia as a country that will learn to live with COVID-19 instead of eradicating the disease. The Finance Minister predicts that the pandemic will become an endemic situation by 2022.
Quoted by Tempo.co, Mulyani said, speaking in an online press conference on Monday, 16 August 2021, said: “So now we are preparing measures on how Indonesia will adjust the situation from pandemic to endemic.”
Indonesia’s leadership is increasingly adopting the World Health Organization (WHO) view shared with many top scientists – all of whom warn that the COVID-19 pandemic is unlikely to end soon. Tourism Bali Indonesia
Sri Mulyani warns, “Ninety-eight percent of scientists think Sars-CoV-2 will become endemic.”
President Joko Widodo said on 16 August 2021 that his government will continue to design policy responses based on “data, facts, and experts’ views.”
Indonesia’s Finance Minister forecasts a strong recovery of the Indonesian economy starting in Q4 2021, continuing throughout 2022, adding that the economic recovery will not run uniformly.
Underlining that lack of uniformity globally, Sri Mulyadi explained: “Countries having vaccine access will see faster recovery, while other states that lack access to the vaccine will face challenges,”
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