INDONESIA’S Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno denied that the ‘Work From Bali’ (WFB) policy was the trigger for the surge in COVID-19 cases in Bali.

“The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy has coordinated with the Governor of Bali and relevant stakeholders in Bali and clarified that the WFB program was not a trigger for an increase in cases. The data we got from the Bali COVID-19 Task Force, shows that the dominance of the spike in cases was triggered by local transmission, which almost reached 84%,” said Sandiaga Uno.

He explained, as is known, the WFB policy is only applied to three green zones, namely Sanur, Ubud and Nusa Dua. Meanwhile, the increase in cases occurred in different areas, namely Denpasar, Gianayar, Buleleng, and Tabanan. However, this policy will be re-evaluated, considering the Circular from the Minister of Home Affairs which imposes activity restrictions.

“I also encourage the acceleration of vaccination and tightening of health protocols based on Cleanliness, Health, Safety and Environmental Sustainability (CHSE) in destinations and creative economy centers, in coordination with local governments and related parties. Then, the ‘travel corridor arrangement’ continues to be prepared, especially in terms of ‘end-to-end CHSE’,” he stated.

He added, of course, we will continue to prepare this travel corridor arrangement. Indeed, COVID-19 cases are increasing, but that doesn’t mean we stop preparing. We must continue to prepare, especially in terms of end-to-end CHSE, so as soon as foreign tourists land until they return home, we prepare and we involve other ministries/agencies.

“The plan is that by adjusting the pandemic situation, we will increase coordination at the ministerial level to bring the final decision to President Jokowi after the COVID-19 preconditions are more conducive,” he concluded. []