ndonesia’s government will wait until COVID-19 cases fall significantly before opening Bali to foreign tourists, the country’s tourism minister said in an interview.
The coronavirus pandemic has devastated the economy of Bali, for decades a magnet for holidaymakers thanks to its spectacular beaches, vibrant nightlife and distinctive Hindu culture.
“We were targeting end of July, beginning of August, but we just have to be mindful of where we are in this recent spike (in coronavirus cases),” Indonesia’s Minister for Tourism and the Cultural Economy, Sandiaga Uno, told Reuters in an interview on Monday.
“We will be waiting for the situation to be more conducive.”
Coronavirus infections have surged across Indonesia in recent weeks, including in Bali, where there has been a fourfold rise in the past month, albeit from a low base, to about 200 cases per day, according to official data.
Uno said he wanted Bali’s daily coronavirus infections to fall to 30 or 40 per day before reopening.
The true extent of Bali’s infections is masked by its low testing rates, which stand at 15% of the minimum recommended by the World Health Organisation.