Bali eyes reopening to international tourists by end of July

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Bali aims to reopen the island to foreign tourists by end of July by speeding up vaccination rollout in the place.

According to Tourism and Creative Economy minister Sandiaga Uno, the Indonesian government is in talks with different countries like China, South Korea, and Singapore for potential travel bubbles to allow travellers to visit the island.

Crucial to Indonesia’s plan is rolling out the vaccine in Bali and other tourism sites like Bintan and Batam and inoculate a large portion of the population. However, one of the roadblocks to this plan is the shortage of vaccines worldwide.

Same with many countries, Indonesia prioritised shots for the elderly and frontline workers in Covid-19 hotspots such as Jakarta, but a new directive from President Joko Widodo aims to include Bali in the list, Uno said.

“We already have close to 60,000 to 70,000 vaccinators ready in Bali. Once we have the supply, the Health Minister said we can complete the task in two to three months, taking us to mid- or end-July,” he added. In order to kickstart the tourism reopening, at least two million residents have to be vaccinated.

Indonesia has inoculated over 10.6 million people so far, the most in Southeast Asia. This has greatly helped decrease the number of infections per day by half from nearly 11,000 down to 5,000 daily cases.