COVID-19 Mu Variant Transmission Determinant of Bali's Reopening Policy

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Laila Afifa

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  • An empty boardwalk of Pandawa Beach is seen as the beach is closed amid the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in South Kuta, Bali, Indonesia March 23, 2020. With foreign tourists banned to prevent the spread of the virus, Effendy now spends the bulk of his time practising the martial art of kung fu at home, while helping his wife to sell packaged rice to earn some money. REUTERS/Johannes P. Christo/File Photo

    An empty boardwalk of Pandawa Beach is seen as the beach is closed amid the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in South Kuta, Bali, Indonesia March 23, 2020. With foreign tourists banned to prevent the spread of the virus, Effendy now spends the bulk of his time practising the martial art of kung fu at home, while helping his wife to sell packaged rice to earn some money. REUTERS/Johannes P. Christo/File Photo

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaBali Deputy Governor Tjok Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati or Cok Ace said the provincial administration uses data on the spread of the COVID-19 Mu variant to determine the policy on the reopening of the island’s doors to international tourists. The variant spread was discussed at the latest meeting with the central government.

    “During the last meeting, it became a determinant. We have previously known about the Delta variant. This is to consider whether the maximum quarantine period is one week or five days,” said Cok Ace in the FMBG dialogue on Wednesday, October 13.

    The government, he added, is being careful to open the gates to foreign tourists amid the emergence of virus mutations. With various considerations, the government is determined to reopen Bali starting October 14.

    Foreign tourists will be required to undergo RT PCR tests three times and five-day quarantine in a bid to reduce possible virus transmission. The provincial government had set 35 hotels in Badung, Denpasar, and Gianyar as the quarantine centers.

    Cok Ace claimed Bali is ready to welcome foreign tourists as more than 90 percent of its residents have received COVID-19 vaccination, it has 62 COVID-19 referral hospitals, and 25 PCR test centers that can accommodate 4,000 tests per day. He also underlined the importance of public compliance with health protocols.

    An expert staffer for crisis management at the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry, Henky Manurung, said the government has not yet officially announced tourists from which countries are allowed to enter Bali. “Perhaps, we will announce it tomorrow morning,” he said, adding that 18 countries are being considered in the list.

    Read: Bali Reopens; 6 Countrues Approved in International Travel Corridor

    FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA