Bali Won’t Reopen to International Tourists in 2020

Ubud Bali
Ubud, Bali // Ershov_Maks/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Bali made it official that it will not reopen to foreign tourists for the remainder of 2020. The announcement was made by Bali governor Wayan Koster on Sunday.

Bali began welcoming domestic tourists at the end of July, following a tentative timeline that would have seen the island reopening to international visitors in September, according to Coconuts Bali, an “alternative online publisher” with coverage of Bangkok, Manila, Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Bali, Yangon and beyond.

"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," Koster said in the statement.

Currently, according to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine, Indonesia has had over 155,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and 6,700 deaths. Currently, there are 37,593 active cases. The U.S. State Department, despite recently removing the global Level 4: Do Not Travel advisors, has kept Indonesia at Level 4 “due to COVID-19, terrorism and natural disasters.”

Koster, in his statement, pointed to other countries that are not allowing travel, including Australia, China, South Korea and Japan; these all plan to allow travel to resume in 2021. He did not, however, give a new date as for when Bali might reopen to international visitors.

The Jakarta Post reports that, like many other regions that heavily depend on tourism, the pandemic has badly affected the province's local economy—80 percent of which relies on tourism. Bali's economy contracted nearly 11 percent in the second quarter of 2020 and at least 2,667 people who work in the tourism sector have lost their job, while 73,631 people have been forced to take unpaid leave.

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