Indonesians cancel trips to Bali in droves over COVID-19 testing

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Mr_Sukamdani_Hariyadi__Chairman__APINDO__Indonesia
Mr_Sukamdani_Hariyadi__Chairman__APINDO__Indonesia

A  government decision requiring visitors to Indonesia’s resort island of Bali to prove they are novel coronavirus-free has prompted more than 133,000 flight cancellations.

The Chairman of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association, Mr Hariyadi Sukamdani, gave the figure on Thursday.

Governor of Bali had issued a directive that those wishing to enter Bali from other parts of Indonesia must produce negative results of COVID-19  test known as PCR, a gold standard in detecting the virus.

Previously, Indonesian authorities only required negative rapid test certificates for visitors to Bali.

A PCR test costs at least 70 dollars, while a rapid antibody test costs less than 10 dollars.

“This is worrisome because the number of flight cancellations is 10 times as many as usual,’’ Sukamdani said.

He said that the cancellations could cost the island nearly one trillion rupiah (70.1 million dollars).

Bali reopened to domestic visitors in July.

Plans to allow foreign tourists to start visiting again in September were shelved following a spike in COVID-19 cases.

The number of novel coronavirus cases in Indonesia – a country of about 270 million people – rose by 7,354 to 643,508 on Thursday, according to the country’s health ministry.

Additional 132 deaths brought the number of COVID-19-related fatalities in the country to 19,390.

Bali has a total of 15,860 cases with 472 deaths. (dpa/NAN)

– Dec. 17, 2020 @ 12:10 GMT |

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