- Title: Sun, sea and space as coronavirus empties Asia-Pacific beaches
- Date: 10th April 2020
- Summary: BALI, INDONESIA (APRIL 8, 2020) (REUTERS) EMPTY KUTA BEACH VARIOUS OF MAN WALKING ON EMPTY BEACH WAVES ROLLING IN ON BEACH BALI, INDONESIA (APRIL 9, 2020) (REUTERS) SIGN BLOCKING ENTRANCE TO BEACH SIGN AT ENTRANCE READING (Bahasa Indonesia/English): "TO STOP THE SPREAD OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, ALL THE BEACHES IN KUTA ARE CLOSED FOR PUBLIC" AUSTRALIAN DANIEL BAKER WALKING ON ROAD (SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIAN LIVING IN BALI, DANIEL BAKER, SAYING: "The beaches should be allowed to be opened as long as you follow the law of social distancing, 1.5 or two meters apart. When I went for a surf last week I was on Kuta reef, one kilometer offshore, the nearest surfer was 200 meters away, so why can't I do that if the nearest surfer is more than two meters away I should be able to swim or surf, it's important for mental health and exercise to stay healthy to fight COVID." EMPTY LEGIAN STREET NEAR BALI BOMBING MONUMENT EMPTY STREET SOUVENIR SHOP OWNER, RUJU, STANDING IN FRONT OF HIS STORE (SOUNDBITE) (Bahasa Indonesia) SOUVENIR SHOP OWNER, RUJU, SAYING: "It (business) fell a lot. Business is down almost 95 percent, around there. So for my day-to-day spending, I have to borrow money just to buy food." MOTORCYCLE PASSING SHOPS ASSISTANT MANAGER OF KFC AT KUTA SQUARE (BLUE SHIRT), VALINTINO ADITYA SASONGKO, ARRANGING CHAIRS (SOUNDBITE) (Bahasa Indonesia) ASSISTANT MANAGER OF KFC AT KUTA SQUARE, VALINTINO ADITYA SASONGKO, SAYING: "Kuta beach is never quiet, never closed no matter what happens but now the access is limited, all of the roads are closed, movement is restricted. And the operation time of all the shops around Kuta beach, including KFC, is affected." BALI, INDONESIA (APRIL 8, 2020) (REUTERS) EMPTY BEACH BOATS PHUKET, THAILAND (APRIL 9, 2020) (REUTERS) CAR DRIVING PAST EMPTY WALKING STREET WITH CLOSED SHOPS ROAD SIGN READING (Thai and English): "THALANG ROAD" MAN WEARING FACE MASK STANDING VARIOUS OF PEOPLE STANDING NEAR CLOSED SHOPS CAR DRIVING PAST EMPTY STREET EXTERIOR OF CAMPUS COFFEE ROASTER (SOUNDBITE) (Thai) OWNER OF CAMPUS COFFEE ROASTER, ITTIPAT KLOMKLIANG, SAYING: "The impact is so severe because most of our customers are tourists. From China and now Europe, a lot of the tourists have gone to zero." SIGN READING (English): "CAMPUS COFFEE ROASTER" (SOUNDBITE) (Thai) OWNER OF CAMPUS COFFEE ROASTER, ITTIPAT KLOMKLIANG, SAYING: "We are roughly losing 60 to 70 percent of our daily income." ITTIPAT LOOKING OUT TOWARD STREET MAN WALKING AWAY FROM COFFEE SHOP MAN AND WOMAN WALKING AWAY ON STREET TRAFFIC MOVING PAST CLOSED SHOPS VARIOUS OF CLOSED SIGN ON DOOR VARIOUS OF TRUCK DRIVING IN STREETS, ANNOUNCING HYGIENE MEASURES SIGN ON GUEST HOUSE DOOR, READING (English): "CLOSE.. DUE TO THE RECENT COVID-19 OUTBREAK, WE ARE TEMPORARY CLOSE. THALANG GUESTHOUSE" VARIOUS OF CLOSED SHOPS, EMPTY STREET
- Keywords: Australia Bali COVID-19 Easter Indonesia Phuket Sydney Thailand coronavirus holiday tourism
- Reuters ID: LVA003C8WPB2F
- Location: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA / BALI, INDONESIA / PHUKET, THAILAND
- City: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA / BALI, INDONESIA / PHUKET, THAILAND
- Country: Various
- Duration: 00:04:25
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Story Text: Iconic Asian-Pacific coastal destinations - normally a draw for visitors during the Easter weekend - were unusually quiet this year amid government measures aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.
Bans on public gatherings larger than two forced Sydney's Bondi Beach to close over the Easter public holidays, while on Manly Beach, people were allowed to exercise only - but not swim - on the closed, unpatrolled beach. Australians have been told to stay home or face dire consequences in the crackdown against the coronavirus, even as its spread slows. Australia had 6,152 infections by Friday (April 10) with 53 virus-related deaths.
The co-owner of Bondi Surf Seafoods, George Dimitrios said 2020 was the worst year in his family's 47-year-old business and Good Friday sales had been disastrous.
"We've had the bushfires, we've had the rain and now we've got this," he said.
Bondi made headlines in March when thousands of people were seen ignoring social distancing rules at its world-famous beach. Authorities have since opened up a pop-up clinic.
Just weeks ago, some visitors were complaining that Bali's iconic sand and surf spot of Kuta Beach was way too busy.
Now it is deserted, with access banned as part of measures to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, which has killed more than 89,000 people around the world and infected more than 1.5 million.
Indonesia, the country with the highest coronavirus death toll in Asia after China, where the virus emerged. The virus has killed 306 people in Indonesia from 3,512 cases, but more limited testing than in neighbouring countries means the figures are widely believed to be higher.
But not everyone agrees with the restrictions on the beaches.
Among them was Australian Daniel Baker, who said it would be better to just enforce social distancing of up to two metres (yards) to prevent the virus spreading.
"When I went for a surf last week I was on Kuta reef, one kilometer offshore, the nearest surfer was 200 meters away, so why can't I do that?" he told Reuters. "I should be able to swim or surf, it's important for mental health and exercise to stay healthy to fight COVID."
In Phuket, Thailand, coronavirus has largely eliminated the tourist industry on which it survived. It is now on a partial lockdown to curb the spread of the virus, which has killed 33 people and infected at least 2,473.
"The impact is so severe because most of our customers are tourists," said Ittipat Klomkliang, owner of Campus Coffee Roaster. "From China and now Europe, a lot of the tourists have gone to zero."
The usually busy Walking Street in the Old Phuket Town in now almost empty with many shops shuttered.
(Production: Sultan Anshori, Apichai Thonoi, James Redmayne, Angie Teo, Juarawee Kittisilpa)
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