Beaches across Bali have been closed in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus, amid tightened restrictions imposed in a number of regions in Indonesia to curb a new and deadly COVID-19 wave.
Despite the new measures under the Emergency Enforcement of Restrictions on Public Activities (Emergency PPKM) – slated to be enforced until at least July 20 – pecalang (traditional Balinese security forces) officers say they caught people surfing on Kuta Beach this morning. The surfers were then instructed to leave and to stay at home, unless for urgent matters.
Emergency PPKM mandates the closure of all public facilities, covering public areas, public parks, as well as tourist attractions. Beaches appear to fall under that category, with authorities having put up signs and banners to indicate the closures, including in Pantai Sindhu in Denpasar and Pantai Kedungu in Tabanan regency.
Yesterday, Bali reported 401 new cases. It is the highest daily caseload the province has seen for about five months.
Officials from Badung regency, where many popular beaches and tourist spots are located, have confirmed that all tourist attractions in the region will be closed during Emergency PPKM.
"Our people, including the sellers along Pantai Kuta, are very much affected especially with the closure during Emergency PPKM. But we must comply with the hope that the pandemic will end soon," Kuta Village Chief Wayan Wasista said.