The Minister of Economic Coordination declared at that the Indonesian government will consider implementing Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTL), which would eliminate the current quarantine requirement.
“All the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreed that we need to be more focused on reviving our tourism sector by implementing the VTL program,”Said the minister.
For those unfamiliar with a VTL, it requires passengers to join a specific airline and a specific flight to avoid quarantine.
The official also acknowledged that the “Sandbox” strategy, which is currently being applied in Phuket, Thailand, has been quite successful in attracting more tourists.
On the other hand, Bali reopened its doors on October 14th and has yet to persuade airlines to schedule flights to the island due to extremely low demand.
The Bali Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) had large hotel cancellations following Bali’s uncompromising 5-day quarantine policy.
Knowing that travelers will be watched 24 hours a day by police and hotel security personnel during quarantine doesn’t help much either.
It is well known in the tourism industry that establishing VTL is a pain in the ass.
So, considering that few countries would meet the requirements for VTL, The deputy governor of Bali revealed yesterday that they are working on cut the default quarantine period from 5 days to just 3 days.
The truth is that Thailand and other close competitors have already taken a large part of the tourism pie.
The minister, in turn, stated that they intend to “learn from Thailand” to revive its difficult tourism industry.
“Because our competitors abroad [are implementing] quarantine zero [days], this is our consideration for the future, ” he said the deputy.
It’s hard to understand why Bali has been so reluctant to allow a wider reopening.
Not only has the island been preparing all entry protocols for a year, but also Task Force Secretary Covid-19 revealed that the hospital’s occupancy rate has plummeted to zero patients in some areas.
“Out of a total of 8 quarantine facilities across the region, we have only one asymptomatic Covid-19 patient remaining, while the other facilities are empty.”
As a precaution, the official instructed hospitals to remain on standby and avoid closing their isolation rooms.