Later Hours for Bali, Scofflaws Warned

Bali’s Governor has issued instructions extending the hours of operations permitted for shops, restaurants, and business places. 

The expanded hours of operations are in effect from 09 until 22 March 2021. After that, the government will once again review the hours of operations. 

Under more relaxed rules governing limitations on public movement (PPKM), Bali’s shopping centers and restaurants can now stay open until 10:00 pm. 

As reported by NusaBali, Governor Koster announced the expanded operating hours in a press conference held from his official residence on Tuesday, 09 March 2021. 

The Governor reminded the public that the spread of COVID-19 remains high in the Province of Bali, asking that everyone do all in their powers to protect their health and security during the continuing pandemic.

The latest changes are contained in the Governor’s Circular Memorandum Number 6 of 2021 issued on 08 March 2021 that supersedes many of the directives in his Circular Memorandum Number 5 published on 22 February 2021. The most significant changes were in the operating hours and capacity limitations imposed on restaurants, warung, and similar business places. The new rules allow maximum occupancy levels of 50% and a later closing time of 10:00 pm.

Previously, closing times were limited to 9:00 pm for both shopping malls and dining places, and restaurants were limited to 25% occupancy.

The new instructions call for even stricter application of health protocols by operators of malls and restaurants.

Commenting on the extended hours of operations now allowed, Governor Koster said: “With these extended opening hours, I hope it will provide a greater opportunity to traders and business operators to increase their levels of economic activity.”

Meanwhile, public facilities, religious activities, traditional ceremonies, and cultural events are allowed to operate at 50% of their maximum capacity.

Domestic travelers destined for Bali are required to present proof of a negative PCR Swab Test performed within 2 x 24 hours of their departure for Bali or a negative result on a rapid antigen test issues 2 x 24 hours before their departure flight for Bali.

Domestic travelers arriving by land or on inter-island ferry must show a negative PCR Swab test performed within 3 x 24 hours of departing for Bali.

Proof of a recent COVID-19 vaccination DOES NOT exempt travelers from undergoing PCR Swab or Antigen screening for the coronavirus. The Indonesian Ministry of Health has yet to declare a free-travel-passage status to people with vaccination certification.

Foreign Residents Be Warned!

Following numerous press reports regarding how foreign residents in Bali are scorning and refusing to follow health protocols, Governor Koster has augmented specific sanctions (Gubernatorial Regulation Number 10 of 2021) for foreign nationals Bali who fail to follow local regulations and health protocols. Foreign nationals who break COVID-19 rules are now subject to an Rp. 1 million fine for their first violation and deportation if they are found guilty of ignoring the rules for a second time.

Expats who Break Health Protocols Can be Shown the Door

Koster added: “The enforcement of violations of health protocols by foreigners or international tourists will initially involve elements of the Armed Forces (TNI), the Police, and regional enforcement agencies (Sat Pol PP) and, on a higher level, the Bali Provincial Office of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights (Kemenkum HAM).”

The Governor said that the entire Province of Bali is receiving special attention in the battle against COVID-19. “This attention is demonstrated by Bali being prioritized in the distribution of vaccine,” explained Koster.

Koster told the press conference that under guidance provided by the Minister of Health and the Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Bali would establish Covid-free Corridors and declare three areas of Bali as official “green zones.” The three areas that will receive the utmost attention to minimize coronavirus infections are Ubud in the Gianyar Regency, ITDC Complex in Nusa Dua in the Badung Regency, and Sanur located in South Denpasar.

The “COVID-19 Corridors” is a new approach to facilitating tourism during the continuing pandemic. The central theme in creating corridors is to define areas that are to be kept free of the coronavirus through comprehensive vaccinations and strict health protocols to reduce the rate of new infections and fatalities.

The overall goal for the subject “green zones” is to achieve “herd immunity” to pave the way for the reopening of the Island for international tourism.

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