More tourism sites may reopen if COVID-19 under control: minister

More tourism sites may reopen if COVID-19 under control: minister

Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno at a historical tourism destination in Banda Aceh city, Aceh province on October 19, 2021. (ANTARA/Khalis/uyu)

We have to take precautionary steps.
Banda Aceh, Aceh (ANTARA) - The government will reopen more tourism destinations to foreign tourists if the number of COVID-19 cases continues to decline and the handling of the pandemic keeps improving, the Tourism and Creative Economy Minister has said.

The government has reopened Bali and the Riau Islands provinces to foreign tourists since October 14, 2021 and a similar opportunity can also be given to other regions in Indonesia, Minister Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno said here on Tuesday.

"We will continue to evaluate the policy. If it runs well, we will possibly add the number of tourism sites which will conduct the trial reopening," he informed.

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Despite the significant fall in COVID-19 cases in Indonesia in the last few weeks, the government is still urging the public to remain disciplined in implementing the health protocols, he said.

Furthermore, the minister also warned the provincial and regional governments of the threat of a third COVID-19 wave in December 2021 due to the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Related news: Bali's Ngurah Rai Airport reopens for international flights

"We have to take precautionary steps. Do not let the number of cases soar — as previously happened in July and August (2021). Let's maintain our compliance with the health protocols and expedite vaccinations in Aceh province," he said.

In addition, he also lauded the Aceh provincial government and the Banda Aceh city government for maintaining "excellent progress" in handling the pandemic.

Currently, Banda Aceh city has succeeded in lowering its Community Activity Restrictions (PPKM) status to Level 3 from Level 4 a few weeks ago.

"Hopefully, the attempt can revive the tourism and the creative economy sectors to recover the economic activities and employment opportunities in Aceh province," he remarked.

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