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Bali's aborted border reopening brings despair but also relief

Despite economic pain, experts say COVID risk still too high for foreign tourism

A resort lies empty on Bali's Kuta Beach. One area business owner said: "If you go to the villages and see the people, you would cry." (Photo by Ian Lloyd Neubauer)

DENPASAR, Indonesia -- In most parts of the world, Sept. 11 marks the most infamous terrorist attack in living history. But in Bali it is an auspicious date on the Hindu calendar -- one that seemed like the perfect timing to reopen international borders and provide a much-needed boost for the tourism-dependent economy.

Those hopes were dashed in late August, however, after the central government announced Indonesia would remain closed until sometime next year because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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