Foreign travelers headed for Bali were able to skirt around Indonesia’s COVID-19 restrictions upon arrival, a number of social media posts showed this week, triggering a fresh wave of criticism against the government’s commitment to tackle the pandemic.
“Fly around the world during a pandemic and fear nothing. Covid is the best time to travel,” one Instagram user wrote on her caption in Russian, before revealing that she “managed to avoid five days of quarantine.”
Some tourists wrote that they were able to avoid the mandatory quarantine altogether, while others claimed that they were able to freely roam Jakarta during their mandatory quarantine in the capital. One user, who said she bought her own groceries at the supermarket, acknowledged that not everyone had the freedom during quarantine as she had, and told her followers to contact her for tips.
Lapor COVID-19 (Report COVID-19), a civil society coalition that crowdsources coronavirus information throughout the country, was among those who criticized the government for their “negligence.”
— LaporCovid-19 (@LaporCovid) April 29, 2021
“Where is the government’s seriousness to handle the pandemic?” the tweet above reads.
Lapor COVID-19 also went on to share a bunch of Instagram screenshots from foreigners who shared their experience of arriving in Jakarta before heading to Bali. Most of them appear to be Russian-speaking and have since explored the island. The large number of posts that are now circulating widely perhaps indicate that they are not exactly mere exceptions to the rule.
In addition, these posts reveal that some of the hotels in Jakarta designated for quarantine are clearly not upholding tight restrictions with regards to the coronavirus, as their guests are able to walk around, go to the gym, and even swim in the pool.
At a time of heightened concerns amid India’s COVID-19 crisis and dangerous new mutations of the coronavirus, the allegations of a relaxed approach to enforce mandatory quarantine underscore Indonesians’ lack of confidence in the government’s competence to tackle the pandemic.
As one Indonesian user said on Twitter: “It’s been a year, is the government filled with people who are stupid? No sense of crisis, no working logic, not even empathy.”