From news reports across the world, it is clear to see that coronavirus (COVID-19) is here to stay for the near future. Honestly though, there are no surprises in that.

It is far better to be safe than sorry, which is why the whole island of Lombok has banded together in recent times to improve sanitization procedures and ensure we play our part in opening back up to the world when we can.

I personally expect to see a whole range of improvements and alterations to the way business and holiday is done in Lombok after guests are welcome back onto the island in the numbers they were last year, which I want to discuss further on. However, before we get into speculation, I have collated a lot of information regarding the specifics of the pandemic as it stands in Lombok. I got this information straight from the source, being the COVID-19 taskforce. So, let us get into the most updated coronavirus information for Lombok.

Local specialists are enforcing very strict measures to prevent the spread of the virus. This should be looked favorably upon; however, it is beginning to prove difficult for locals to obtain basic supplies. Smaller, more isolated communities are bearing the brunt of this. Social distancing is strictly enforced all over Lombok. People are asked to avoid crowds and to keep an emphasis on cleaning surfaces and frequently touched objects after they are finished using them.

Tourist entry to the island is temporarily banned (exceptions apply to those in the area for business, such as diplomats, medical helpers, or holders of a long-term residence permit). Residents coming home to Lombok are asked to enter a 14-day self-isolation. This is for everyone’s safety. The COVID-19 task force is constantly trying to collect data from returning residents to ensure any outbreak is shut down efficiently. Importantly, authorities are also attempting to provide food supplies for those returned residents in self-quarantine, however, this is proving difficult to achieve as supply chains have been temporarily disrupted.

It personally really interests me to ponder how many of the differences to every-day life we have adopted recently will live on past the pandemic. Disruptions and breaks in supply chains speak to a certain vulnerability in the system that has only really shown its ugly head when the circumstances have forced it to recently.

I personally am of the belief that local tourism industry can only benefit in the longer term, as sustainable cleaning measures and better supply coordination that have since been adopted ensure a smoother experience for all in the travelling game.

Local industry like fishing in Lombok will not see a drastic adoption of automated technology, simply because the infrastructure that is in place now can still be operated adhering to coronavirus restrictions. E.g., you can still operate a fishing boat quite successfully if all you must do is not breathe down the neck of anyone else on board. Other industries in Lombok might face a very different makeover though, like for example busy restaurants, cafes, and surf rental services.

Coronavirus restrictions have called for these businesses to innovate and ensure that adequate measures are in place to mitigate the risk that the virus poses to valued customers, and as such, means we might see some of these new innovations carried forward into the future. Features like ordering your food over the phone before arriving, increased cleaning schedules, and glass barriers might even come common place in all commercial eateries as the world becomes more health conscious. Or should I say, virus-phobic?

All in all, there will be some big differences, and I support them. You will no longer be the big man when you rock up to work or to eat with a bad cold – you will just be stupid. And maybe that is a good thing. We will have to see.

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