The government has allocated 1.5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine for Bali Province . The vaccine, made by the British pharmaceutical company, is targeted to arrive on the Island of the Gods this month or in April.
“I just got news from Jakarta, we will talk to the governor regarding AstraZeneca vaccines for Bali. So we hope Bali can get 1.5 million vaccines. Hopefully this month or next month,” said the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investments (Menko Marves) Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan at the virtual press conference for the Bali Investment Forum 2021, Friday (26/3/2021).
With this program, Bali Governor Wayan Koster revealed the possibility of Bali being opened to foreign tourists in July.
“The direction of the President in July was gradual and limited to foreign tourists. For the following stages, after July it could be,” said Wayan Koster.
His party itself is targeting 70% or around 3 million Balinese people to be vaccinated to create herd immunity.
“Bali will be prioritized for vaccination. Of the total population of 4.3 million, Bali is 70% or about 3 million, we ask for a vaccine. And no later than 2.5 million can be vaccinated by July,” he said.
The governor said that if vaccination continues until July and reaches 2.8 million people, then Bali tourism can be opened to foreign tourists.
“If another 1.5 million is given, it means 3 million doses of vaccine are needed. If by July I think the herd immunity will reach 2.8 million people who will have been vaccinated, I think that’s enough to be visited,” said Wayan.
Currently, foreign tourists are still prohibited from coming to Indonesia to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, the government is considering lifting the ban on foreign tourists to Indonesia, especially Bali, in line with the ongoing vaccination program.
Deputy Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Angela Tanoesoedibjo said there were 4 initial considerations that the government had discussed to become a requirement for foreign tourists who could come to Indonesia, especially Bali.
First, the tourists come from countries that have handled the Coronavirus pandemic well. Second, the COVID-19 vaccination program in the tourist’s home country is also running well.
“Because we want to reduce the risk when we open Bali to foreign tourists,” explained Angela.
Furthermore, the conditions to be considered are the availability of direct flights from the country of origin of the tourist to Indonesia.
Then, the government also considers opening Bali tours for foreign tourists who have sufficient financial capacity, so that they can spend quite a large amount of money while on vacation in Bali.
“Apart from that, we focus on quality tourism, where the tourists spend higher, and the line costing is much longer. That’s an initial consideration,” said Angela.
However, all of these considerations are still being discussed by the government, meaning that they have not been ratified. Angela said, to open Bali tourism for foreign tourists, it is necessary to revise the related Minister of Law and Human Rights Regulation, in this case Permenkumham number 26 of 2020 concerning Visa and Immigration Stay Permits in the Adaptation Period for New Habits.
“Our considerations, of course, to open Bali to foreign tourists, of course, there must be reciprocity. So later we will discuss it further, tomorrow (Saturday 27/3) we will have a more detailed meeting regarding the revision of the Minister of Law and Human Rights Regulation,” said Angela.