Indonesia is reviewing a plan to reopen its tourist areas to foreign visitors amid concerns that such a move could compromise the country’s effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir said.
Thohir, who is overseeing the daily operations of the country’s coronavirus taskforce, was responding to a question if the government will go ahead with a plan to reopen Bali, Indonesia’s most popular tourist spot, on Sept. 11 as scheduled.
“We don’t want that the program to make Indonesia healthy becomes compromised by the plan to allow foreign tourists to come, and it creates possible new clusters,” Thohir said in an online discussion on Saturday. “Therefore, the committee has decided to review this plan to allow foreign tourists to come.”
Foreign holidaymakers, who generate billions of dollars in revenue, remain a critical part of Indonesia’s economy, he said. The world’s fourth-most populous nation remains under the grip of the pandemic with the number of cases quintupling since the end of May.