Increasing COVID-19 cases in Bali

It was only weeks ago that people were still excitedly planning their trip to Bali, but COVID-19 is the unwanted visitor that’s forced everyone to postpone everyone’s dream vacation. 

Since March, tourism isn’t the only thing that has gone quiet here, but local Bali life has also undergone drastic changes. To prevent further spread of the virus, ogoh-ogoh parades, which are traditionally part of Nyepi celebrations, were banned.

As reported by The Jakarta Post, Bali has declared a state of emergency as of 31st March 2020 due to an increase in the number of local transmissions.

What it’s like in Bali right now

Bali COVID-19 statsCOVID-19 stats as of 31st March 2020
Image credit:

Monday, 30th March, 2020 saw a spike in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Bali – from 10 to 19 in just one day. This sudden spike, coupled with the fact that some cases were confirmed to be local transmissions, led Bali Governor I Wayan Koster to quickly declare a state of emergency to curb the spread of COVID-19 on the island.

Although Bali had already been on alert since 16th March 2020, the updated status would mean stricter public measures, including tight checks for visitors upon arrival, followed by a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine.

No fun in the sun until further notice

Ngurah Rai Airport 2020Few were at Ngurah Rai Airport on the day before Nyepi 2020
Image adapted from: @sscibali

COVID-19 has obviously had a huge impact on the global economy. Bali is no exception. Prior to the arrival of the pandemic, Bali tourism briefly suffered from the aftermath of the Mount Agung eruption in 2017. It didn’t take long for Bali to get back on its feet, but things are different now. 

With the study- and work-from-home period being extended to 21st April 2020, it’s not only hotels and tourist attractions that will take the blow, but also businesses catering to locals – such as cafes, restaurants, and supermarkets.

School and university classes will continue to be conducted online, government officials will keep working from home, and overseas business trips will be strongly discouraged with the exception of urgent matters.

Stay home for now

house in ubud
Image credit: Bernard Hermant 

Needless to say, the situation is not ideal for the Balinese community and those who wish to travel there. But for now, it’s absolutely important that we stick to the physical distancing initiatives in place so that we don’t make the situation worse. 

Remember that it’s not just you who are at risk of contracting the virus, but also those around you. Stay home if you can and stay safe.

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Cover image adapted from: @sekehedemenbali

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