"We have considered this, we are postponing (the reopening of Bali to international tourists) until the situation in Bali and worldwide is conducive," Koster told the press here on Wednesday.
Bali authorities had originally planned to reopen the island for tourism in three phases, starting with the decision to allow local residents to visit tourist sites in the area from July 9. The island was reopened for domestic travelers residing across Indonesia from July 31.
As part of the third phase of reopening, the authorities intended to allow international travelers back on the island from September 11.
The decision to postpone the entry of foreign tourists to the island has been driven by the increased number of COVID-19 cases and public indiscipline in observing the health protocols, Koster informed.
Koster said he has met with representatives of the Indonesian Hotels and Restaurants Association (IHRA) and asked the association to impose sanctions or revoke the licenses of members who fail to comply with the health protocols.
"The key is that we have to be disciplined and implement the health protocols for effective handling of COVID-19," he stated.
Koster has issued a gubernatorial regulation (no. 46/2020) on law enforcement on health protocols, urging the public and tourism operators to remain disciplined in the implementation of health protocols.
The postponement is also in line with the Law and Human Rights Minister’s Regulation no. 11/2020 that has temporarily banned foreigners from transiting or entering the Indonesian territory. Hence, there would be no foreign tourists visiting Indonesia, including Bali, Koster said.
"Other nations are also yet to allow their citizens to visit foreign countries," he added.
As of Wednesday, the number of COVID-19 cases in Bali had reached 4,726, with 4,115 recoveries (87.07 percent) and 56 deaths (1.18 percent). (INE)
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