ON OCTOBER 14, 2021, the Indonesia’s Government imposed a trial of foreign tourists entering Indonesia via Bintan, Batam and Bali, after more than 1.5 years of being constrained by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The trial was also carried out by implementing quarantine for foreign tourists who came for 5 days, even Angkasa Pura had simulated the readiness to accept foreign tourists after the pandemic on Saturday (10/9).

Readiness is an important and crucial key, considering that tourism is indeed vulnerable to disasters/diseases, conflicts/security, and information/news that does not consider the economic impact.

The key to the readiness to open international traffic lanes for foreign tourists must refer to three considerations, namely strict inspections of foreign tourists at airports, strict health protocols/prokes at tourist destinations, and “smart” reporting.

Regarding readiness for strict inspection of foreign tourists at the airport, the manager of Bali’s I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport together with a number of local aviation and tourism stakeholders have conducted international flight simulations to ensure airport readiness ahead of reopening for international flights on October 14.

“We are carrying out a real simulation to test the standard operating procedures that have been set,” said Director General of Civil Aviation at the Ministry of Transportation Novie Riyanto in Badung Regency, Bali, Saturday (10/9).

The simulation was carried out by involving 90 participants who were the airport community consisting of 88 adults and two children. Initially, passengers were simulated coming from Incheon Airport, South Korea.

They undergo all the procedures that have been set according to the SOP for the arrival of passengers from abroad at Ngurah Rai Airport. Upon landing and arriving at the arrival terminal, passengers must pass a body temperature checking procedure through a thermal scanner.

Passengers with a body temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or lower, can continue the next process, while those whose body temperature is above 38 degrees Celsius, are directed to a further examination room.

If the observation results show that they are healthy, the passenger can continue the next process. On the other hand, if the observation results show that the person concerned is not healthy, he will be referred to a hospital for further treatment.

The next stage is the registration counter, the passengers will be served by officers from the COVID-19 Task Force. They input data and officers control data and print barcodes.

Next, passengers must pass inspection of health documents and quarantine hotels carried out by the Port Health Office (KKP) by tapping barcodes.

Furthermore, the passengers are directed to undergo RT-PCR inspection in 20 booths that have been prepared by the airport manager, then passengers go to the immigration counter for inspection of immigration documents and scanning of electronic customs declaration barcodes by Customs officers.

After that, the passengers were placed in the holding area while waiting for the results of the RT-PCR before they could leave the airport area to go to the quarantine hotel. The quarantine hotel will also collect data in this waiting room, which is estimated to take 60 minutes.

“We manage in great detail, including flight slot arrangements, how the passenger flow runs from the inside, how and how long the PCR process is carried out, therefore we do simulations so that later during the implementation there are no unwanted things,” said Novie Riyanto.

Health protocols, vaccinations, news
While giving a briefing of Bali Province, Denpasar (8/10/2021), President Joko Widodo requested that testing and tracking capabilities continue to be improved in Bali.

“Testing (testing) and tracing (tracking) must be improved, which are still red-red to be increased. In my opinion, this is just a small touch, but it really needs to be done if we open it,” he said.

The Head of State also asked all stakeholders to show their readiness. We show that we are able to manage, able to control with the existing management in the field.

“The experiences of other countries in dealing with COVID-19 are also studied, including the importance of discipline in carrying out health protocols. The discipline of health protocols greatly reduces the spread of COVID-19,” President Jokowi stated.

From the experience of several countries, the word vaccination is an important thing that must be carried out. In some countries, cases of COVID-19 have soared again, accompanied by an increase in death rates, because the opening of economic activity is not matched by the speed of vaccination, and discipline in the application of health protocols.

On the other hand, in a country with a high vaccination rate, when economic activity opens, the death rate is still low. So, what does it mean? Vaccination is very decisive,” said the President.

As of October 8, 2021, Jokowi continued that vaccination in Bali Province has reached 98 percent for the first dose and more than 80% for the second dose. In terms of vaccination, there are no problems. Later, it’s just the readiness and practice of implementing the process in the field.

In addition to strict procedures when entering (airport), strict procedures at tourist destinations are also very decisive. As of Tuesday (9/28), as many as 726 tourism businesses in the Bali area have undergone the Cleanliness, Health, Safety & Environment Sustainability (CHSE) certification audit process in 2021 or 60% of the target.

This year, the Province of Bali received a CHSE certification quota of 1,200 tourism business industries consisting of 200 hotels and 1,000 non-hotels targeted for completion of the audit in October. Currently, 726 tourism businesses already have CHSE certificates, namely 139 hotels and 587 non-hotels.

Meanwhile, Head of the Denpasar Branch of PT Sucofindo, Dedih Budiawan Sugianto said that we are optimistic that before the end of this year’s CHSE certification deadline, we can achieve the target of 1,200 certified tourism business actors.

“The CHSE certification audit process for the provinces of Bali, West Nusa Tenggara and East Nusa Tenggara was carried out by the PT Sucofindo Consortium, TUV Rheinland-PT Mutu Agung Lestari. Last year, in Bali there were around 1,079 certifications and this year 1,200. other areas in Indonesia,” he added.

In addition to maximum vaccinations and strict procedures at airports and tourist destinations, “smart” news is also an important and crucial key, considering that tourism is indeed vulnerable to information that does not consider the economic impact.

In the “Capacity Building Media 2021” held by Bank Indonesia Bali Representative in Singaraja, Buleleng, Bali on 7-9 October 2021, it was revealed the importance of managing economic issues in the news, because their impact on the community is direct.

Of course, the media crew must not ignore the facts in the news when there are cases. However, journalists should not only focus on reporting the case for days. Journalists should be able to report solutions or handling cases that occur so as not to expose the Balinese economy too deeply.

If Bali is exposed to the economy, then everything will be exposed to its impact slowly but surely, both the government, the private sector, and the community, including the media. It would also be wise if the media crew in Bali, apart from publicizing tourism, also encourages the potential for agriculture and handicrafts/Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Bali which are also internationally ogled. [antaranews/photo special]