September 16, 2021

50% of Bali hotels closed, occupancy near 0% + Thousands of barcode readers installed + Visas available for Indonesia again + more

Good morning!

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Weather & Tides

Today’s Weather for Southern Bali

Today’s Tides


Daily Covid Update

National Figures

Local Figures

*Note: The provincial government did not release its infographic by press time.

The Big News

“50% of Bali Hotels Still Closed, Occupancy Near 0%” from Tempo (Indonesian): Deputy Chairman of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association Bali, I Gusti Agung Ngurah Rai Suryawijaya, said that the relaxation of PPKM had not succeeded in increasing hotel occupancy on Bali. He said the number of guest visits per day of 4,000 people is not comparable to the total hotel rooms in Bali. “The number of domestic tourists who come per day is only 3,500-4,000. This has no significant effect compared to the total rooms which reached more than 146,000," Rai said on Wednesday. Rai explained that the average hotel occupancy is still below 7% and even close to 0%. PHRI Bali said as many as 50% of hotels on Bali still chose to remain closed as to reach break-even point the hotel occupancy rate must be at least 40%.

Context: In past editions of The Bali Beat there have been frequent reports of hotels closing temporarily or permanently due to the pandemic, but this quoted occupancy rate of 0-7% is notably low.


“Thousands of Barcode Readers Installed at Tourist Attractions” from iNews Bali (Indonesian): The Department of Tourism Bali has installed more than 3,000 PeduliLindungi barcode scanners to prevent the spread of Covid-19. "Tourism objects that are natural in nature have begun to be opened, but with the PeduliLindungi application," said Head of the Bali Dinpar, Putu Astawa on Wednesday. The barcode preparation is in collaboration with all Bali tourism stakeholders. Every visitor is required to scan PeduliLindungi when they come to tourist objects, including hotels. This is done so as not to create new clusters. Astawa said in addition to preparing thousands of PeduliLindungi barcodes at tourist attractions, the Bali Dinpar have also prepared a centralized isolation area.

Context: Another media report noted scanners are also to be installed at all hotels and restaurants in Bali (Indonesian) and there are plans to make it easier for tourists to use the application.


“Visas Available for Indonesia Again” from Indonesia Expat: The Law and Human Rights Ministry has released Regulation no. 34 year 2021, which allows for visa and immigration stay permits during the handling of COVID-19 and the national economic recovery. Indonesia will be ensuring that every passenger brings a valid COVID-19 negative PCR test result and evidence that they have received the full dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Those under 12 years old and those entering using yachts are exempted from the vaccine requirement. Foreigners holding a valid visa or stay permit can enter Indonesia through specified immigration points after meeting the health protocols as determined by the ministry or agency implementing the handling of COVID-19. The temporary suspension of visa-free visits and visit visas upon arrival continues.

Context: This development has seen pushback from a House of Representatives member who would like to see the restrictions on foreign entries continued to protect against an increase in Covid-19 cases in Indonesia. See below for an extract or the full story here. At this stage, it appears Jakarta will remain the only international entry point.

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Other Headlines

“Badung Police Monitor Prokes at Tourist Places” from Nusa Bali (Indonesian): Badung Police are involved in supervising the Covid-19 health protocol at all community activities that could trigger crowds. Head of Public Relations of the Badung Police, Iptu Ketut Sudana, said on Monday that several beaches were already crowded including Petitenget Beach. A similar scene occurred at Seseh and Batu Bolong. In addition, the Sangeh Evening District has also begun to be crowded with tourists. "Currently, the order provides a little leeway. The tourist attraction is opened with a record of carrying out strict procedures. The number of visitors is limited to only 50%,” he said.

Context: This was one of a number of local media reports on South Bali beaches including Batu Bolong and Kuta becoming crowded. These follow on from stories covering rising popularity at other tourism sites including Tanah Lot.


Vaccination Update

“Push to Vaccinate Elderly and Teenagers” from Antara: Indonesia has received a vaccine batch of 274,950 doses of the Pfizer vaccines in finished form. With this arrival, a total of around 240 million vaccine doses arrived in Indonesia in bulk and finished form, a top government official said. The government has ensured the availability of safe COVID-19 vaccines and can support the acceleration of vaccination, with a target of two million people per day, Director General of Information and Public Communication of the Communication and Informatics Ministry Usman Kansong said on Wednesday. Kansong confirmed that the government will focus on pushing vaccinations for the elderly and youth groups. Only 26.43% of the elderly population had received the first dose, while 18.73% had been administered the second dose.

More...


Health Protocols (Prokes) & Health Services

“Vaccination Rates Now Part of PPKM Assessment” from The Jakarta Post (Metered Paywall): The government has decided to use vaccination rates as one of the indicators to assess levels of COVID-19 curbs across the country, in a bid to speed up the inoculation program while allowing people to go about their daily routines with the easing of PPKM. Cities and regencies under PPKM level 3 must now vaccinate 50% of their general population and 40% of the elderly population with at least one dose of the vaccine to have their curbs lowered to level 2. This includes Greater Jakarta.

More...


Economy & Infrastructure

“This is Bali’s Agriculture Strategy” from Bali Puspa News (Indonesian): Learning from the Covid-19 pandemic which has suppressed Bali's economic growth to its lowest point, Bali's Deputy Governor Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati has encouraged efforts to strengthen the agricultural sector. According to Deputy Governor Cok Ace, Bali experienced the most severe economic contraction compared to other provinces in Indonesia because it is highly dependent on the tourism sector. He said 54% of GRDP came from this sector so that during the pandemic, Bali lost foreign exchange up to IDR 9.7 trillion every month. According to Cok Ace, one of the alternative sectors which should be worked on more seriously is agriculture. To stimulate the agricultural sector, he encourages the use of technology. "Therefore, several steps that can now be taken are returning to the agricultural, marine, fishery sectors, and generating local crafts as a livelihood to support the people's economy," he said.

More...


Education

“WHO Urges Indonesian Schools to Open in Indonesia” from The Australian (Paywall): The World Health Organisation has urged Indonesia to reopen its schools for the country’s 60 million students as the government eases restrictions imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19. The appeal comes amid a hesitant restart of in-class learning this month only in areas determined to be at low risk of coronavirus transmission, after an 18-month shutdown since Indonesia confirmed its first coronavirus cases in March 2020. But the WHO said it was important for “all schools across Indonesia to reopen safely for all children” while implementing health protocols. “With strict health regulations, schools can offer a safer environment for children than outside of school,” the WHO said. Education and Teacher Association spokesman Satriwan Salim said all teachers must be fully vaccinated before they can go back to school. Some 60% of teachers across the country have been vaccinated.

More ...


“Legislator Wants Travel Restriction Imposed” from Tempo: House of Representatives health commission legislator Kurniasih Mufidayati called on Wednesday for a revision on the law overseeing travel restriction of foreign nationals under the enactment of the PPKM. Kurniasih said the limited stay visa (ITAS) and the law overseeing needs to be revised. She argues that ITAS holders must now be denied entry. The legislator from the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) insists “a revision must be put in place to realize the spirit of restricting foreign workers into Indonesia.” She believes this is needed to prevent the entry of three new Covid-19 variants that consists of Mu, Lambda, and C.1.2. Especially after a report from the Health Ministry suggests there are 1,636 people entering Indonesia confirmed to be positive for coronavirus despite having a screening tests report from their country of origin clearing them from the virus.

Of Interest

How You Can Help Bali

In response to the collapse of the tourism sector in Bali and the resulting economic crisis due to Covid19, tens of thousands of families have found themselves with a greatly reduced income—if any. By the middle of 2020, over 100,000 people on Bali had lost their job. While government support has been limited, Indonesians and foreigners have sprung into action, raising funds and distributing badly needed food and everyday essentials to those most in need.

We've been raising awareness of these efforts, and if you’d like to make a contribution of any kind, you can see a list of some organisations here. Further projects have registered themselves with Bali Solidarity. 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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