Bali reopening to international tourists may not happen anytime soon as coronavirus cases surged that crematoriums are struggling to keep up with the deaths on the island.
According to News.com.au, “Bali has recorded a total of 9448 cases and nearing 300 total deaths. The number of deaths has doubled in weeks with Bali recording 100 fatalities on 4 September and 199 on 18 September.”
The paradise island reopened to domestic tourists on 31 July in an attempt to restart its once vibrant and profitable tourism industry and has seen a spike of COVID-19 cases. Although there is no official link between tourism reopening and the surge of cases, the plans to reopen in September were foiled and Bali Governor Wayan Koster recently confirmed that Indonesia won’t be reopening its borders until at least the end of 2020.
TD reported in August that Bali’s reopening may be pushed to 2021 until the local cases are controlled and the republic allows foreigners to come in.
Bali ranked second as the most popular destination that tourists want to visit after the pandemic. Koster said that reopening Bali to international tourists requires extreme caution and careful preparation being one of the world’s main tourist destinations. If the effort to restore tourism failed, it may have a negative impact on the image of Indonesia and may cause counterproductive results to tourism recovery.
Meanwhile, the absence of tourists flocking Kuta beach and temples takes a toll to local businesses.
An epidemiologist suggested that Bali may have to go back into lockdown if the locals do not know how to control the virus.