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Published on Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Bali won't open to international tourism until 2021

Indonesian tourist hotspot Bali will officially stay closed to international travellers until 2021.

The country's national borders will remain closed for the rest of the year due to Covid-19 concerns.

Bali Governor I Wayan Koster backtracked on his earlier statement that Bali would reopen to foreign tourists in September.

Despite countless media reports to the contrary, that was never likely to happen as the decision lies with the national government which has made no progress in securing any bi-lateral 'travel bubble' agreements with other countries.

"The central government supports Bali's plans to recover tourism by opening the doors for international tourists. However, this requires care, prudence, and careful preparation," Koster said in an official statement.

No date in 2021 has been touted.

"New cases are under control, the recovery rate is increasing and the fatality rate is under control," Koster said.

Although Bali has coped quite well, Indonesia's virus cases are still mounting, and the testing rate is still exceedingly low, which is potentially masking the real number of cases.

Indonesia has reported more than 155,000 Covid-19 infections

Bali is heavily reliant on tourism, especially from Australia and China.

Domestic tourism is now permitted across the archipelago with Koster saying about 2,500 people have been arriving in Bali daily up to mid-August.


Written by Ray Montgomery, Asia Pacific editor

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