Bali bans foreign tourists for rest of 2020 over virus

A man carries a surfboard at Kuta beach on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, which has seen a downturn in tourism following the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

A man carries a surfboard at Kuta beach on the Indonesian resort island of Bali. AFP/Sonny Tumbelaka

JAKARTA - 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.

The holiday hotspot 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 virus cases and with many foreign nationals subject to travel bans in their home countries.

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

"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.

"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.

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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.

Bali has recorded some 49 deaths and just over 4,000 cases of coronavirus.


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