Tourist sites reopen as rules relaxed

Surf’ up: A tourist with a surfboard walking towards a traditional boat heading to a surfing spot in Sanur, on the resort island of Bali. — AFP

A number of tourist destinations in Indonesia reopened their doors in regions that have relaxed their Covid-19 public activity restrictions, locally known as PPKM, earlier this week.

Among the reopened tourist sites is the Mount Ijen National Park in East Java province’s district of Banyuwangi, which has resumed operation since Thursday, after being closed for two months during the early stages of the pandemic restrictions.

According to Purwantono, the Banyuwangi Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA)’s section head, the national park was visited by around 600 visitors daily on average during pre-pandemic times.

Following Banyuwangi’s pandemic restrictions being lowered to Level 2 this week, the national park will limit daily visits to approximately 150 people, in accordance with the 25% capacity limit for national parks during the PPKM Level 2 implementation.

Mount Ijen’s latest opening hours are from 3am local time to noon for all days. Hikers are required to be vaccinated at least with the first doses and bring vaccination certificates as proof.

Similarly, the Dieng Volcanic Complex, also called the Dieng Plateau, located both in Wonosobo and Banjarnegara districts in Central Java province has also reopened since Friday, following the two districts’ restrictions being lowered to Level 2 this week.

The complex is also implementing a 25% capacity limit in compliance with Level 2 restrictions.

“We’re ready to open. We’ve already done health protocol simulations,” the Banjarnegara Cultural and Tourism Agency’s Head Agung Yusianto said on Thursday.

Just like Mount Ijen, the Dieng recreational area requires visitors to be vaccinated with the first shots at minimum.

Furthermore, state-owned Ancol Dreamland Park in North Jakarta has also reopened two of its attractions, Ancol Beach and Allianz Ecopark, for visitors who want to do outdoor vacations starting on Friday.

Meanwhile, other tourist sites inside the park such as the famous Fantasy Land (Dufan) amusement park, Sea World, Ocean Dream Samudra, Atlantis Water Adventures and the Art Market had remained closed as of Saturday.

The reopening of the destinations was because they have all obtained the Cleanliness, Health, Safety, and Environment Sustainability (CHSE) certificates from the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry, Utari said, adding that another reason is that they are located outdoor.

“We still haven’t decided when the trial reopening will start, because we are still preparing the implementation process of the PeduliLindungi app. Right now, we’re still awaiting the QR codes for the destinations. Once the codes are ready, trial reopening will be held,” Utari said.

As of this week, Yogyakarta’s (Prambanan temple) pandemic restrictions stay at Level 3, the same with Magelang district (Borobudur and Ratu Boko temples), and Jakarta (Taman Mini Indonesia Indah).

In addition, popular tourist destinations Kawah Putih (White Crater) and Glamping Rancabali camping site in Bandung district in West Java province were also expected to reopen immediately, according to Bandung district head Dadang Supriatna.

“We still don’t have the details, but we will announce it soon,” Supriatna said on Thursday. — AFP

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