June 14, 2021

Tourism ministry releases foreign tourist quarantine guidelines + 90% of Bali tourism ready to reopen says tourism minister + 21 female Kerobokan prison inmates drink disinfectant, 1 dies + more

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Weather & Waves

Today’s Weather for Southern Bali

Today’s Tides

Local Covid Numbers

*Note: With 22 new cases recorded on Saturday and 44 on Sunday, the 7-day average edged up to 40. 3 deaths were recorded on each day of the weekend respectively, bringing total fatalities so far this month to 21. By this stage last month, there had been official 97 deaths.

Click here to see the national numbers infographic and a Regency-by-Regency breakdown of yesterday’s local numbers, which includes a look back at last week’s overall totals, as well as the National Covid-19 Task Force’s risk assessment for Bali’s regencies/city and the nation.

The Big News

"Plans for Reopening Bali to Foreign Tourists Maturing, This is the SOP from the Airport to Hotel Quarantine" from Bali Post (Indonesian): The Bali Provincial Government and the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy have prepared a standard operating procedure (SOP) for the acceptance of foreign tourists at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport and the implementation of hotel quarantine. The Minister for Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno, said that tourists who come to Indonesia, including Bali, will be those who have and have not been vaccinated. Both categories must receive a PCR test upon arrival, have their temperature checked, and be collected from the airport in a Cleanliness, Health, Safety and Environment (CHSE) certified taxi. Sandiaga explained that there will be differences in hotel quarantine for tourists who hold vaccination certificated and those who do not. For those who have obtained a vaccination certificate, they will be allowed to engage in activities in the hotel, such as swimming in the pool and eating at the hotel restaurant, for the five days of quarantine. Those who have not been vaccinated must remain in their designated hotel room and will not be allowed to leave the room. Tourists with a positive PCR test result will be referred to a hospital.

Context: There was no information in the article about whether the quarantine hotels will be assigned to tourists or booked independently.

"Sandi Says 90% of Bali Tourism Ready to Open" from Republika (Indonesian): The Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy (Menparekraf), Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, said that preparations for the opening of Bali tourism for foreign tourists had entered the final stage."We continue to prepare, now we reach the 85-90% figure and of course, this will continue to move. It can go down or up depending on our seriousness in presenting pre-conditions." The preconditions that serve as a barometer for the preparation for the opening of Bali tourism include controlling Covid-19 cases, vaccination programs, preparing travel corridor arrangements, increasing compliance and health protocols. "Hopefully, we can continue to do this, Covid-19 cases can continue to be suppressed and the global Covid-19 situation is also conducive so that the targets given to us can of course be completed," said Sandiaga.

"21 Female Prisoners in Kerobokan Prison Drink Disinfectant Liquid Mixed in Nutrisari, One Dies" from Bali Puspa News (Indonesian): A total of 21 female prisoners from the Class IIA Women's Prison, Denpasar, drank disinfectant liquid mixed with Nutrisari [a brand of instant flavored drink] until they all fainted and were rushed to Sanglah Hospital in Denpasar. One female prisoner died after undergoing treatment. Head of Denpasar Class IIA Women's Prison, Lili said that the prisoners complained of stomach pain, but it turned out that after being examined the prisoners involved admitted that they had just drunk disinfectant liquid mixed with Nutrisari. Of the dozens of prisoners, two of them had to undergo dialysis. While the rest are undergoing intensive treatment at Sanglah Hospital. However, from a number of inmates who received medical treatment, 1 person was declared dead. Lili admitted that she did not know the reason why the inmates drank the virus-killing liquid. However, it is strongly suspected that the inmates drank disinfectant because they had a habit of drinking alcohol and drugs before becoming inmates in prison.

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Other Headlines

"Government Asked Not to Raise Tax Rates, Economic Conditions are Difficult" from Detik Finance (Indonesian): The chairman of the DPR's Budget Agency (Banggar), Said Abdullah, assessed that the planned increase in the value-added tax (VAT) rate was not timely. This is because people's purchasing power has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. "It should be remembered that in many tax objects, VAT is often charged to consumers, even though in the first quarter of 2021, the level of household consumption was still contracting," he said. Said assessed that the proposed VAT increase could be implemented if the people's purchasing power really recovered and was at a high level. He further said that it is better for the government to expand the tax base than implementing the plan.

Context: The VAT increase proposed by the Finance Ministry, which is receiving widespread condemnation from politicians, workers associations, education industry members, and economists, would apply to education and basic necessities (sembako).

Vaccination Update

"Bali on the Verge of Achieving Herd Immunity: Task Force" from Antara: Bali Province is on the brink of attaining herd immunity based on the vaccination participation level, according to an official of the COVID-19 Handling Task Force. The Task Force’s Head of Behavior Change, Sonny Harmadi, said the first dose of the vaccine was administered to 1.5 million Balinese residents, while the second dose was offered to over 676,000 residents. Thus, Bali still has to add 800,000 other vaccine receivers to achieve herd immunity of up to three million people, he stated. “If we sum up the number of those having received the first and second doses, it has already reached 2.2 million people. Bali will soon attain herd immunity that enables its revival,” he affirmed. Harmadi remarked that the Bali public’s compliance to wearing masks and maintaining a safe distance is viewed as having worked favorably. “The obedience level of all districts in Bali has reached over 93%," he noted.

Context: It is clear from this article that the Covid-19 Task Force equates one dose f the vaccine with Covid-19 immunity, even though the Indonesian Health Ministry states that the number of required doses for all vaccines used in Indonesia is 2, except AstraZeneca, which it states is 1-2 doses.


Health Protocols (Prokes) & Patrols

"Indonesia Rules Out Large-scale Restrictions for Post-Idul Fitri Covid-19 Surge" from The Jakarta Post (Metered Paywall): The government has opted out of imposing large-scale restrictions to curb a recent COVID-19 case spike in the country, while healthcare services in several regions have been overwhelmed by patients. Health authorities have recorded an ongoing surge of COVID-19 cases in the weeks after millions of people defied the government’s Idul Fitri mudik (exodus) ban. The government recorded a rolling seven-day average of 5,067 new cases per day on May 23, about a week after Idul Fitri. By Friday, the figure had risen to 7,201.

Context: Yesterday Indonesia recorded a three-month high of almost 10,000 new cases, while 8,083 were recorded on Friday and 7,465 on Saturday.


Economy & Infrastructure

"Payangan Hospital Will Have a Resort Hospital, Here's the Concept" from Bali Express (Indonesian): To support tourism in Gianyar Regency, especially in the northern region, the Gianyar Regency Government will build a Resort Hospital at Payangan Hospital. Chair of Commission IV DPRD Gianyar, Ni Made Ratnadi, said that in the future several more rooms would be built to be used as a resort hospital, which was initiated by the Gianyar Regent. The construction of the resort hospital will be executed in 2022. Director of Payangan Hospital, Dr. I Gusti Ngurah Gede Putra, said the resort hospital concept itself is an innovative integration program from Payangan Hospital which combines Advanced Health Services, Heath Tourism and Resort Hospitality. "So later every patient can get services like at a resort but still within the scope of the hospital," he said.


Bali Reopening

"Menparekraf Sandiaga Uno Strives for Kuta to Enter Tourism Green Zones" from iNews Bali (Indonesian): Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy (Menparekraf) Sandiaga Uno said, "The hope is that Kuta is included in the green zone expansion stage to be visited by foreign tourists." Previously, only three areas were designated by the government as green zones, namely Ubud, Nusa Dua, and Sanur. Sandiaga said his party is also trying to create jobs and improve the economic sector for the people of Kuta who are affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. "Because the airport is located in Kuta, especially in the Tuban Traditional Village. This is our priority. Kuta District has been most affected for more than 1.5 years." Unlike other areas, Kuta does not have agricultural land, so the local community is very dependent on tourism.



"First in Asean, Gilimanuk-Mengwi Toll Road Will Have Path for Cyclists" from Radar Bali (Indonesian) from Radar Bali (Indonesian):  If there are no obstacles, the toll road construction project that crosses three regencies in Bali (Badung, Tabanan, and Jembrana), is estimated to cost Rp.17 trillion and requires around 1069.44 hectares of land, will start in December 2021. The plan is that the design will be adapted to the characteristics of each region or district. The Mengwi-Gilimanuk toll road will be designed differently from toll roads in other regions in Indonesia. According to the Head of the Highways Division of the Bali Province Public Works Spatial Planning and Settlement Area (PUPRKP), Department of Public Works, Putu Suarjana, there will be a special lane for two-wheeled vehicles (motorcycles) and a lane for cyclists to encourage sport tourism in Bali. "Considering that later on the toll road, new tourist centers will grow. So that tourists who like to travel by cycling can use this route,” he explained.  

"Indonesia Aims to Tax Rich More to Finance Large Pandemic Deficit" from The Jakarta Post (Metered Paywall): While struggling to finance a deficit budget to pull the country through a health crisis and economic recession due to the pandemic, Indonesia is seeking to increase taxes on high-income individuals and families. Through an amendment to Law No. 6/1983 on general provisions and tax procedures (KUP), the government is proposing a higher rate of personal income tax targeting people with earnings of at least Rp 5 billion (US$351,500) a year. These people are also known as high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs). The proposal goes along with other increases in value-added tax, a new carbon tax, and another proposal for tax amnesty. Finance Minister Sri Mulyani said the proposed tax increase for HNWIs was from 30 to 35%. “It is not that big,” she told lawmakers during a hearing with lawmakers at the House of Representatives.

Of Interest

How You Can Help

In response to the collapse of the tourism sector in Bali and the resulting economic crisis, dozens of individuals and organizations have sprung into action, raising funds and distributing badly needed food and everyday essentials to the innumerable families who have suddenly found themselves without any source of income. We've been making an effort to document and raise awareness of these efforts. We will add information on projects in this space as we are able to confirm them. If you'd like to see a list of the efforts that we've featured so far and contribute to them with either time or money, visit our complete list here. You can also see a list of projects that have registered themselves at BaliSolidarity.org. If you know of an effort and would like to have them listed, please send their information to TheBaliBeat@outlanders.global.

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