Bali authorities nab thousands of COVID-19 protocol violators

File photo of an officer enforcing the mandatory mask rule in Bali. Photo: Bali Provincial Government
File photo of an officer enforcing the mandatory mask rule in Bali. Photo: Bali Provincial Government

Authorities in Bali said thousands of people have been caught violating health protocols, with hundreds subjected to individual fines, as officials step up efforts to curb coronavirus transmissions.

In a joint operation conducted between Sept. 7 and Sept. 18, a spokesman from the Bali Police said 3,051 people were caught violating health protocols, 244 of whom had to pay individual fines of IDR100,000 (US$6.76).

Meanwhile, Bali Province’s Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) said another joint inspection, which specifically focused on upholding the mandatory mask rule, held between Sept. 6 and Sept. 20, caught 557 people in violation of existing health protocols.

“We are not making the fines a priority, this is about enhancing public adherence,” Bali Satpol PP Head I Dewa Nyoman Rai Dharmadi said.

“We must remember one principle: your mask protects me, and my mask protects you. It’s not just wearing them, but properly having them cover your nose and mouth.”

A mandatory mask rule has been enforced in Bali since earlier this month, but despite rising coronavirus cases on the island authorities are still catching people not observing the regulation. 

I Gusti Agung Ketut Suryanegara, who heads Satpol PP in Badung regency, last week said that many face mask violators had masks on them but didn’t bother to use them properly, or even at all.

Today, Bali reported 139 new COVID-19 cases and six more deaths, bringing the provincial caseload to 7,888 and death toll to 222. 

Read Also ⁠— Bali adds stricter screening measures for visitors

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