BINTAN District in Riau Islands Province, is prepping to reopen its tourist destinations by applying strict health protocols to avert the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and to revive its tourism industry.

According to Bintan District Head Apri Sujadi during a virtual discussion with the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said basically all entrances to Bintan have been prepared to be sterile from COVID-19 through various layers of health protocols.

“Riau Islands Province currently has no fresh COVID cases. Indeed, at that time there were indications of COVID-19 cases, but now there are no more,” he said.

Meanwhile General Manager of Bintan Resort Group Abdul Wahab confirmed that the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the tourism sector in Bintan hard. In January 2020, prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, Bintan received a total of some 90,000 tourists. However, only dozens of tourists came when the pandemic occurred.

“At present, Bintan is ready to receive tourists by applying strict health protocols against the COVID-19 transmission. Those applying strict health protocols included employees working in tourist resorts, hotels, and restaurants,” he said.

Abdul Wahab explained every day we check their health condition. In addition to, body temperature and health condition of every visitor must also be checked. As it gears for the implementation of the new normal, the government is making efforts to ensure only those regions which report a low COVID-19 transmission rate, backed by scientific data, are allowed to proceed with their plans for receiving tourists, and that too under strict protocols advised by the World Health Organization (WHO).

“As parts of the efforts to regain tourist confidence, the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry has formulated and socialized health protocols, dubbed Cleanliness, Health and Safety (CHS) protocols,” he concluded. [antaranews/photo special]