Foreign revellers on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali have been warned they may be deported if they are caught violating Covid-19 health rules during New Year celebrations, authorities warned on Thursday.
“Get ready to be kicked out,” Bali immigration office head Jamaruli Manihuruk said in an interview with AFP, warning that health rules must be observed as the country seeks to fend off the Omicron variant now sweeping the world.
Bali’s governor has barred carnivals, fireworks and gatherings of more than 50 people over the Christmas and New Year period.
Malls, restaurants and cafes must shut by 10 pm, and only operate at 75 percent capacity.
Bali’s beautiful tropical scenery, surf beaches and party scene have made it a playground for masses of Australian and New Zealand tourists, as well as those based in nearby cities such as Singapore.
Almost 200 tourists were deported from Bali in 2021, Manihuruk said, with seven booted out for violating Covid-19 protocols.
In July three foreign tourists from the United States, Ireland and Russia were sent home after they were caught not wearing masks in public during a raid.
In May, a Russian influencer and a US-based Taiwanese YouTuber were deported after posting a video where the former was seen strolling around Bali with a painted mask on her face.
The video sparked fury from Indonesians online, who demanded the pair apologise and be sent home.
Indonesia has been seriously hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
As of Wednesday, it had reported more than 4.2 million confirmed Covid-19 cases, and more than 144,000 deaths.
Bali alone reported more than 110,000 confirmed cases with over 4,000 deaths.
With vaccination rates relatively low, the country remains vulnerable to new outbreaks, especially of the more easily transmitted Omicron variant that is driving record case numbers in Europe.
There have been 68 confirmed cases of Omicron in Indonesia so far, according to government data. (AFP)