The Provincial Government of West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) will reopen the three Gili Islands – Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, and Gili Meno – located a short distance from the North Shore of Lombok Island.
The opening of the islands to visitors will take effect starting from 20 June 2020.
The three Gili Islands represent the first tourism location in NTB that will reopen for tourism as NTB eases itself into the “new normal.”
Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, the head of tourism for NTB, H Lalu Moh Faozal, speaking from Mataram, Lombok on Friday, 12 June 2020, said, “The Province of NTB will designate the three Gili Islands as a test case or pilot program using preventive health protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
Faozal related how the COVID-19 Pandemic has paralyzed the Province’s tourism sector with many people working in tourism working in hotels left jobless. The reopening of Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air from its current “lock-down” status will be done as a first step to restore tourism and the local economy.
Continuing, Faozal said, “We will continue to educate the people and raise their consciousness so tourism activities can resume, but with new standard operating procedures (SOP) reflecting the ‘new normal’.”
The NTB tourism chief said the “new normal” would resemble normal activities but with the added feature of health protocols as part of the community’s daily life. To this end, the Tourism Service for NTB, the Health Department, the Task Forces for the Mitigation of COVID-19, and other related agencies are cooperating to complement the SOP for the “new normal” in matters of cleanliness, health, and safety.
The NTB Provincial Government is in communication with the region of North Lombok to facilitate the arrival of tourist visitors and the health and sanitation procedures that must be applied at all hotels, restaurants, and tourism facilities. The Tourism Chief said the Gili Islands would be the first tourism area reopened for tourists in NTB.
The head of the Health Department in NTB, Dr. Nurhandini Eka Dewi, said that while everyone desires a return to normalcy in their daily lives, specific criteria must be met for life under “the new normal.” These criteria, she explained, embrace new SOP established by the Government for cleanliness, health, and safety.
As part of the preparations for the reopening of the Gili Islands, a “Gili Gets Ready for the New Normal Campaign” has been launched that includes rapid mass tests for COVID-19 among residents living on the islands. Mass spraying against mosquitoes has also been carried out on all three islands.
Procedure put in place by the Government of NTB include requirements that visitors to the three Gili Island must show a health certificate and prove they have recently undergone a COVID-19 Rapid Test. Visitors also required to wear face masks throughout their stay on the Gilis