Different views this time around Kuta, Badung. The reason is, the area, which is the center of tourism activities in the Badung Regency, used to be crowded with tourists and vehicles. But nowadays, even Kuta has been empty of tourists and vehicles crossing the area can be counted on the fingers.
Covid-19 in Bali
This condition is inseparable from the influence of the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19), which is disturbing the global community.
How is Bali Coping with The Covid-19 Pandemic?
The virus has infected hundreds of thousands of people in the world, making Bali tourism plummeted. The hotels also seem quiet, from occupancy above 60% has now dropped dramatically to 7% to cause termination of employment (layoffs) and employees were laid off.
Although tourist visit has decreased significantly, several shops selling Balinese souvenirs, clothing, shopping centers, restaurants in the Kuta area are still open as usual. The people in Kuta also said they chose to do activities inside the house since there was an appeal from the government to reduce activities outside the home so as not to increase the spread of Covid-19.
The same atmosphere appears on Kuta Beach, where the beach is usually crowded with thousands of visitors from local, domestic, and foreign tourists. But now, it appears only some people are doing sunbathing and swimming on the white sandy beach.
The government also continually appealed to the community to continue to carry out activities inside the house. Avoiding crowds to suppress the spread of the virus. In addition, people are asked to keep a clean and healthy lifestyle by diligently washing their hands and consuming healthy food.
Expatriates who live in Bali
Several foreigners did not return to their country and chose to remain in Indonesia during the coronavirus pandemic. They helped Indonesian citizens in helping others who were experiencing difficulties.
The spirit of mutual cooperation carried out by fellow Indonesian citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic has inspired expatriates or foreign citizens in Indonesia.
Tara McGowan, a lecturer at Yogyakarta State University (UNY) admitted, she was moved to help the local residents after seeing people distribute basic needs to motorcyclists on the streets. As an expatriate who already has strong ties with the village where she lives in Yogyakarta, Tara could not stay silent as she witnessed by herself the difficulties of the people around her.
She said that On the one hand, she is an Australian citizen living in Indonesia. However, on the other hand, she feels very close to the people here. So, she can see their activities and what they eat. My heart is broken to see people having to break their fast every day with instant noodles.
The Bali Alliance Against Covid-19 together with several expatriates living in Bali distributed food packages to residents experiencing economic difficulties in Jalan Jaya Giri, Gang XXII Denpasar, Saturday (05/02/2020).
One of the expatriates from Belgium, Erick, who participated in the provision of the nine-basic necessities, even cried seeing the economic condition of the residents due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He who has lived 10 years in Bali to shed tears when asked for a response related to the current condition of the people in Bali.
Like Erick, another expatriate, Florence from France also expressed concern about the economic conditions of the Balinese people. Because of that, she also participated to support the Balinese economy as much as possible. She said that she has lived in Bali for seven years and she supports Balinese who need it. Moreover, she sees many who are experiencing economic difficulties.
The Bali Alliance Against Covid-19 was also working with 25 people from Bali to disseminate this information so that many people who want to take part as donors to help those in need. Even a tourist or who was on vacation in Bali shares the rope of love by providing food assistance to the people affected by the Corona Virus or Covid-19.
Beautiful Spanish known as Ms. Osi shares food in Banjar Kulibul Kawan, Tibubeneng Village, North Kuta Badung. Kelian of the Banjar Kulibul Kawan Office, Wayan Suarjana, said the tourists from Spain did intend to help residents amid the outbreak of Covid-19 in Bali, especially Badung.
Suarjana also said that so far Ms. Osi has been staying in the Banjar Kulibul area. Even to his knowledge, the tourist has lived for about one year. As a village official, he also expressed his gratitude to Ms. Osi. Although she went to Bali for vacation, she seemed to have become part of the society because she lived in the Banjar Kulibul Kawan area.
Crisis Bali Kitchen
Meanwhile, some of the approximately 3,000 Australians left in Bali, including chefs and restaurant owners, responded to this crisis. They are turning their place into a free food bank, a frontline charity that feeds thousands of Balinese every day.
Crisis Bali Kitchen is the idea of Brad Downes of Tropicana Churros Cafe in Seminyak. The guy who has lived in Bali for 15 years said that he sells churro and coffee in a place made of old containers. After all of tourists leave the island of gods, he doesn’t want to let go his staff. So he came up with an idea to provide lunch packages just by using little profit he gets from the café. Downes assumed that he can get $50 in a day. That amount of money is enough to feed 60 people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic.
Within a week, Crisis Bali Kitchen feeds 600 people a day. To help meet the demand, Mr. Downes requested a donation on Facebook. Dawnes felt that it is heartbreaking seeing adults cry when he gives them some food for their children.
Once a man came to his place after riding his motorcycle for four hours. He did that just find some food for his family. Dawnes gave him as many boxes of food as he can carry. The guy came home carrying nine boxes of food.
About half of the volunteers at Crisis Bali Kitchen are foreigners. The rest are Indonesians, like Storo who now spend their days delivering lunch packages. Then there is Niluh, a barista at Tropicana Churros Cafe who volunteers at the crisis kitchen every day before taking night shifts at the adjoining cafe.
While in Seminyak, Australian restaurant owner Josh Herdman had to close Sea Circus, a famous cafe with colorful murals that has existed since 2010. However, he did not heed the advice of the Australian government to go home.
Herdman said that Bali is his home. If Bali goes down, he felt that he must go with it. Therefore, along with his staff, Herdman has to double his work, just to help others in need. He said that your immune system is susceptible to coronavirus if you have low nutrition. That is why he raise some money to provide nutritious food containing meat, fish, eggs, and chicken.
On the first day, his restaurant manages to provide 400 packages of food. While on the second day, he gave out to 800 people. Since Sea Circus has the capacity to serve 3000 people, he can keep feeding them as long as they are supported.
Another foreigner with a noble heart is Simon Lefebvre, an Australian actor from Plucka Duck on Hey Hey It Saturday. He distributes 100 meals a day at his Kuta restaurant, The Naughty Duck. Australian-born chef Janet DeNeefe uses her own money and donations from Australians who eat at her restaurant, Casa Luna, to make food packages for staff who got fired.
Janet used to have 250 staff. But she has to relieve them from their duty. Even though she cannot pay her staff anymore, she still giveprovide daily needs such as sugar, rice, and other commodities to 100 people.
Some Australians who lack food and drink experience also cook to help feed those in need in Bali. One of them, Amanda Rialdi, an Australian expatriate who married an Indonesian, said that she asked all of her Facebook friend to donate US $ 1.50. She said that the donation is enough to feed 100 people. However, her kind action become viral as her friends started to spread the message.
PSBB in Bali
PSBB stands for Pembatasan Sosial Berskala Besar or Large-Scale Social Restrictions. It is a regulation issued by the Ministry of Health (Ministry of Health) in the framework of the Acceleration of COVID-19 Handling. Thus, it can be implemented immediately in various regions.
How is PSBB Implemented?
PSBB is carried out during the longest incubation period and can be extended if there is still evidence of the spread. The Minister of Health explained, schools and workplaces are closed except for offices or strategic institutions that provide related services:
- defense and security
- public order
- food needs
- fuel and gas
- health services
- export and import
- distribution logistics, and other basic needs.
On the limitation of religious activities, carried out in the form of religious activities carried out at home and attended by limited family members, by keeping a safe distance between individuals. Beyond that, religious activities are carried out based on statutory regulations, and fatwa or views of official religious institutions recognized by the government.
The restrictions on activities in public places or facilities carried out in the form of limiting the number of people and regulating a physical distance. These activity restrictions are not applied for:
- supermarkets, mini-markets, markets, shops, or places that sell medicines and medical equipment, food, basic needs, essential goods, fuel oil, and gas.
- health service facilities or other facilities in the context of fulfilling health services.
- public places or facilities to fulfill the basic needs of other residents including sports activities.
The limitation of social and cultural activities is carried out in the form of a ban on the crowd of people in social and cultural activities. The regulation is guided by the views of official customary institutions recognized by the government and legislation.
Transportation mode restrictions are excluded for:
- public or private passenger transportation modes by taking into account the number of passengers and maintaining a distance between passengers
- transportation of goods that fulfill the basic needs of the people.
International Airport I Gusti Ngurah Rai Bali
Meanwhile, one of the airports in Bali, I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport has taken certain measures regarding the coronavirus pandemic. These measures are as follow:
- Installing body temperature scanners to support the health monitoring of airplane passengers coming from abroad.
- Closing several flight entries from countries with high cases of coronavirus
Passengers who have come from countries with high cases of coronavirus are required to be able to show a health certificate or health certificate valid regulations issued by authorized health institutions in those countries. The passengers are also required to fill out and collect the Health Alert Card (HAC). Citizens who have traveled from countries with high cases of coronavirus will be carried out further medical examinations at the destination airport
The number of positive numbers in Bali is still largely dominated by imported cases. for cumulative local transmission of 182 people. This means that there are still people who do not heed or make efforts to prevent COVID-19, such as the use of masks, washing hands, keeping physical distance, and others. For that, once again, to suppress the case of local transmission, the community must be aware and disciplined in making efforts to prevent this virus.
Those who may travel are excluded from logistics, health, diplomatic transportation, the task of state institutions, and logistics transportation handling COVID-19. This aims to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In this regard, the Governor of Bali as Chairman of the Task Force for the Acceleration of Handling COVID-19 Bali Province has issued a regulation concerning Additional Administrative Requirements for Domestic Travelers at Bali Entrance Points.
Due to this notice, Access to Denpasar, Bali, began to be tightened prior to the enactment of restrictions on the activities of the community. The monitoring post has been alerted at the border. People entering Denpasar have begun to be monitored by Denpasar City task force officers along with traditional villages. People who enter Denpasar must undergo a rapid test first.
Moreover, all travelers entering Bali must attach additional administrative requirements, namely a PCR-based negative test result for those passing the airport or a Covid-19 negative result certificate from the Rapid Test for those who pass the ferry/seaport, A Statement of the purpose of your stay in Bali and a Statement from the Guarantee Provider responsible for that person while in Bali.
Pecalang, the Frontliners of PSBB
The provincial government (Pemprov) of Bali is fortunate to have a customary police officer, pecalang, who can be mobilized to keep permanent residents at home. These traditional policemen are eager to go around the village and send those who are still on the streets home.
Even in several roads, the pecalang have closed access to sort out people who want to pass the road. They are only allowed to pass the checkpoints If there is an emergency or other important thing to do.
Sick people are still allowed to go out of the house during self-quarantine. Those who have to work are also allowed on condition that they keep their distance and maintain personal hygiene so that the spread of the virus can be suppressed.
As seen in Jimbaran and Nusa Dua, the pecalang are involved in conducting socialization so that residents at home are relatively successful. The pecalang since morning have been around to socialize to residents not to leave the house, including not opening a shop or shop along the road, in the market, and other business places.
Return to Bali
Bali is said to be opening up to welcome tourists again. But Bali Governor I Wayan Koster said the opening of Bali tourism is still far away. The Coronavirus pandemic or COVID-19, which has not abated in Indonesia, including Bali. Make the tourism sector in Bali closed to minimize the spread of the Coronavirus or COVID-19.
Koster further emphasized that Bali tourism is still far from being reopened. In addition, Koster is also reluctant to explain which tourist areas will be prioritized or opened first when New Normal is implemented in Bali.
Deputy Governor of Bali, Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati, or familiarly called Cok Ace, said that from June to October 2020, Bali will try to gain better confidence by conducting preparation and revitalization of destinations, planning promotional programs and assistance to tourism actors.
He hopes the opening of tourism in Bali is not done simultaneously, but starting from the Nusa Dua area first. Furthermore, if the Covid-19 trend around the world has reached 0 percent, other tours will begin to be opened gradually in several tourist spots, such as Tanah Lot or Monkey Forest in Ubud. For the record, the opening of the tourist spot is not followed by opening the surrounding area, to maximize the physical distancing.
If every element in society work together, it will not take too much time to rebuild the tourism industry in Bali. Let’s do our best to follow the right safety protocols and remember to stay safe.