INDONESIA’S Tourism and Creative Economy Minister, Sandiaga Uno unveiled a plan to reopen Bali for tourists through the Free COVID Corridor Program.

“We have prepared the Free COVID Corridor for Bali and several other tourist destinations,” the minister noted during an online dialog themed “Vaccination Comes, Tourism Shines” recently.

He stated that the program, which is a proposal from tourism and creative economy agents in Bali, has been often being deliberated by the local government. The one-time Jakarta vice governor spoke of having repetitively streamlined the plan.

Sandiagan Uno called on the government to exercise caution to examine the possibility of reopening green zones, areas, with the lowest risk of COVID-19 transmission, in the world-renowned tourist island for tourists, including foreign travelers.

The plan for the designation of green zones in Bali include Nusa Dua and Ubud and can be expanded to cover Nusa Penida and several other areas to align with the local government’s directives, he stated.

“We want to get more ready in line with the downward trend of COVID-19 cases, particularly in Bali. We are mulling over reopening green zones for tourists from several countries, such as China, Singapore, and other countries,” he remarked.

He added that I spoke of having invited several ambassadors to personally bear witness to the government’s preparedness to open tourist destinations in Bali and other regions. However, the plan to reopen the tourist destinations hinged largely on the endeavors to handle the COVID-19 pandemic in Bali.

“This returns to us. Hopefully, (the caseload) would not be triple digit but double digit. As I see, (COVID-19 handling) in Bali has made quite significant progress in the seven days,” he affirmed.

Sandiaga is optimistic that the government would keep a close watch on the decline in the COVID-19 caseload to begin implementing the Free COVID Corridor Program.

“In mid-month, we are optimistic of being able to coordinate with Mrs. foreign minister, Mr law and human rights minister, the health minister, the chief of COVID-19 response task force, and the governor to finalize (the plan for) the Free COVID Corridor Program and ensure that the trial can be realized. If the result is positive, then we can go ahead with it and increase their number,” he concluded. [antaranews/photo special]