Bali and Jakarta Will Lead Indonesia’s Road to Recovery
Before we get into the content of this essay, I want to be clear that I am not in favor of a vaxx program for a flu that has a 99.9% recovery rate, particularly one that has had seriously insufficient testing on a wide range of future recipients who may be atypical. I am talking in particular about children and pregnant women. However, if masks, vaxxes, seab tests and more social distancing are required to open up the world markets and bring the working class back into its own power, then by all means, let’s just do it. Get the shots if you want them, don’t get them if you don’t want them. Consequences and chips will fall where they will.
The Indonesian Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno said the island of Bali will be the first location for implementing a travel bubble. The travel bubble is a special flight corridor cooperation or Travel Corridor Arrangement (TCA) created to aid recovery in the tourism sector.
To support this implementation, Sandiaga said that up to 70% of the Balinese population will be first to receive vaccines. “There are 4 million (people) in total. If we prioritize Bali, 70% can be vaccinated over the course of the next 3 months.” Sandiaga said the Indonesian government is waiting for Singapore’s readiness to implement a travel bubble. “If Singapore is ready, we can pair it with Bali,” he said. Small steps. However it is better to walk before we run.
Even so, Sandiaga noted that health protocols will still be strictly enforced, including conducting mandatory swab tests to enter Bali. The number of foreign tourists visiting Indonesia during 2020 decreased by 70.5% compared to 2019 or from 12 million to 3.56 million foreign tourists.
As of today, January 11, the Indonesian federal government is limiting community activities by implementing Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB) regulations to suppress the transmission of the virus in all parts of Java and Bali. This Java-Bali PSBB shall be in place through January 25th. Chairman of the Committee for Handling Covid-19 and National Economic Recovery (KPC-PEN) Airlangga Hartarto had this to say. ’The implementation of limited restrictions is being carried out by provinces in Java and Bali because all of these provinces meet one of the four established parameters. Therefore, the government has established criteria related to restrictions on community activities. We emphasize that this limitation is not a prohibition of activities, but restrictions,” said Airlangga.
Restrictions on community activities include limiting workplaces to a 75% work from home (WFH) policy, schooling to take place online and all shopping centers and restaurants limiting their operating hours. Previously, President Joko Widodo talked about anticipating a regional quarantine or lockdown after Indonesia had experienced a spike in reported cases. Jokowi said a number of countries had unfortunately been force to pursue this policy, adding that he had asked that ministers work hard to deal with the pandemic so that Indonesia is not forced to follow the same path.
The vaxx program is planned to commence on January 13th, 2021. The minister in charge of the vaxx rollout said he was sure the vaxx program will be successful in suppressing the spread of the coronavirus over the next 3 months.
Before discussing the coronavirus vaccine, the minister delivered a message to Bali Deputy Governor Tjokorda Okta Artha Ardhana Sukawati regarding the increase in cases in Bali due to the long vacation period. He reminded all parties that the implementation of PCR and rapid antigen tests should be increased.
As a result of this week’s announcements, we remain optimistic that our neighbors; Singapore, Malaysia, and Australia in particular; will follow suit and look to open the dialogue about reopening global travel under optimal conditions.
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