Bali, and Indonesia in general has been very lucky during the corona virus pandemic. Many foreigners left Bali in March thinking there would be a tidal wave of cases. However, so far there have been very few cases compared to Jakarta and other places in Asia and the number of new cases are declining daily.
In fact, Bali’s government and local village lawmakers have been applauded for their handling of the pandemic. Many villages have set up hand washing stations, been active in stopping people traveling around, and have done well disseminating health and hygiene information.
Testing for Covid-19 started out slowly on the island but has since been ramped up with specialist labs being set up to deal with larger numbers of tests. It’s possible to get tested at 11 government hospitals in Bali that have been prepared to deal with Covid-19 patients. Thankfully, so far they have not been inundated with large numbers of patients.
Unfortunately, the island of Bali has been hit hard by the loss of the tourism industry due to travel restrictions in Indonesia and worldwide. Many people have lost their jobs and are struggling to feed their families. However, Lotus Bungalows Candidasa management decided to keep the hotel open and have staff working shifts equaling 15 days a month. We’ve found this to be a good compromise for the staff and management.
Since our last guest checked out on March 23rd, we have been disinfecting the rooms, public areas, kitchen, and restaurant. Hand sanitizer has been placed in the lobby and restaurant and the staff was briefed on the best practices for hand washing, distancing, and keeping their immune systems strong. We are also encouraging them to implement these practices at home with their families and to share the information within their neighbors and friends.
The latest news for the lifting of the travel restrictions is that domestic tourists will be allowed to travel to Bali from the 1st of June, 2020. There are a small number of domestic flights still running, but some restrictions regarding reasons for travel are still in place.
Bali’s tourism department has said they hope to slowly open the island to tourists from selected countries from June, and to be completely open in October. We are hopeful that this can happen with proper precautions and if people continue to use healthy hygiene practices.
As soon as we have information the Indonesia’s ban on visas-on-arrival has been lifted, we will let you know. We look forward to being back in full swing at Lotus Bungalows Candidasa and to welcome our wonderful guests back to the hotel.