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Bali is'ready' for Australian tourists, according to Indonesia's tourism minister


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Since the pandemic hit Bali's picturesque Gili Islands, the music at the Jungle Bar nightclub has been silent.

 

Since March of last year, owner Brendan Muir has kept the nightclub and his hostel closed.


"It was incredibly upsetting to see how quiet it was," he recalls, adding that "pretty much every visitor went right away."


"It was like a ghost town on the street."

 

"Every time it's announced that the airport would open up there, everyone gets really enthusiastic and starts making plans, but we've had a lot of false starts."


He's more optimistic that this time it'll be the real deal, and that international tourists will begin to return in increasing numbers to Bali.

 

Indonesian minister says 'we are ready'

Sandiaga Uno, Indonesia's tourism minister, says his message to Australia's government is that Indonesia has made the necessary steps to welcome tourists back.


"Please follow the data.
We've arrived, and we're ready to go "he declares


After a terrible outbreak that peaked in July with over 50,000 new cases per day, he wants to reassure Australians that Indonesia has turned the corner.


"We've implemented social limitations programmes that, thank God, have been highly successful in reducing COVID case numbers."

 

He claims that previous contacts with Australian authorities revealed that they were prioritising domestic tourism in 2021, and that he would seek more comprehensive discussions with the Indonesian government about tourist opening in 2022.

 

Following Prime Minister Scott Morrison's declaration last Friday that the overseas travel ban would be repealed on November 1, the minister's comments have caused some uncertainty inside the Australian government.


Australians will be able to travel after that date, according to a representative for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.


They say, "This encompasses Bali and the rest of Indonesia."


"Australians must also consider quarantine arrangements upon their return to their home state or territory, as well as the possibility of limited aircraft availability."

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