Coronavirus and travel: Gili islands forced into virtual closure amid pandemic

Bali’s famous getaway – the Gili Islands off Lombok – has been forced into virtual closure over fears the killer virus will strike at any time.

Fast boats with direct routes to Bali, Lombok and the three idyllic tropical islands have been told to cease business by the provincial government.

Thousands of Aussies flock to the party island of Gili Trewangan, particularly during Bali’s annual 24-hour closure during the religious “silent” day of Nyepi, which falls next week.

The shutdown of the main transport routes to the islands was triggered by the increases in Covid-10 positive cases in Bali. The islands will be sprayed with disinfectant in an effort to hold off the killer virus.

Bali’s famous getaway - the Gili islands off Lombok - has been forced into virtual closure amid the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Getty
media_cameraBali’s famous getaway – the Gili islands off Lombok – has been forced into virtual closure amid the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Getty

According to the Head of West Nusa Tenggara Tourism Office, Mr Lalu Muhammad Fauzal, the province has withdrawn approval for the fast boats to transport tourists to and from Bali in an effort to better monitor the spread of COVID-19.

Aussies holidaying on the popular islands will now have to fly from Lombok to Bali or take the large public ferry, which makes multiple stops to pick up locals – adding hours to the trip their Bali base.

“We closed temporarily the visits to Gili Trawangan, Air and Meno. Because positive cases of coronavirus have been found in Bali. We have closed the main access routes to the three islands, “he said.

Indonesia currently has 134 COVID-19 positive people, and five deaths due to the virus.

Bali, Jakarta, Jogjakarta, North Sulawesi and West Kalimantan have been hardest hit by the virus in Indonesia.


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President Joko Widodo is considering putting the whole of the capital of Jakarta into lock down.

“I need to emphasize; the lockdown policy is a decision for the central government. Local governments cannot take a lockdown policy, ”Mr Widodo said despite the action from Lombok.

“What we must do now is to reduce mobilization from one place to another. Keep your distance and avoid being in crowded places. So, I took the policy of learning from home,

working from home and worshiping at home, “the president said.


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