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Sleeves up Bali time for a jab


DENPASAR, 31 March 2021: Bali Hotels Association is throwing its support behind the Indonesian government’s vaccination programme in the hope it will trigger an early reopening for the holiday island.

The government confirmed on Monday the “green zone” areas of the island (Ubud, Nusa Dua, Sanur) should reopen to international tourists on 1 July, but officials tempered the news by saying it was imperative to establish travel bubbles with countries that supply the majority of tourists to Bali.

Opening Bali to foreign tourists will be irrelevant if there are no travel bubbles in place as the visitors would need to quarantine when they arrive back home. Most countries still maintain a 10 to 14-day quarantine for people returning home due to renewed threat of Covid-19 variant strains.

Negotiations are underway with low-risk countries with a high percentage of citizens vaccinated and a low incidence of Covid-19 infections.

It is understood a travel bubble is being negotiated with Singapore, and that could be one of the first to reopen tourism to Bali. Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno recently mentioned Australia, China, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan on the travel bubble talks list.

Backing the effort, the Bali Hotels Association launched this week its Bali Is My Life #sleeveup campaign to encourage and support member hotels and resorts that have signed up to be vaccination sites. 

“Sleeve Up” is a community-wide initiative that encourages everyone to get vaccinated.  The island is targeting vaccination of at least 70% of the population, while tourists will be only allowed to visit designated green zones.

The Bali administration is aiming to vaccinate at least 2.8 million people in 100 days, as officials seek to reach at least 70% of the province’s population to achieve herd immunity. 

Nearly 140,000 people have so far been vaccinated, according to provincial government data, more than 44,000 of whom have received both of the required two doses since the province started vaccinating people in mid-January.

The mass vaccination programme targets people in the three green zones of Ubud, Nusa Dua, and Sanur are part of preparing for the province’s potential reopening to foreign tourism by 1 July.

The “travel corridor arrangement” is now a priority to negotiate with several countries and could offer reciprocal benefits according to the Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno.

Bali Hotels Association said its member hotels and resorts had implemented health and safety protocols as mandated by the government and official worldwide organisations.

Hotel protocols:
Mandatory wearing of masks except when dining and drinking and physical distance of 1.5 meters is maintained;
Temperatures checks;
Washing hands;
Registration with the government’s track and trade apps.

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