No free pass for foreigners: Bali’s mandatory mask rule applies to everyone, official says

File photo of authorities stopping a foreigner without a mask in Jimbaran in September 2020. Photo: Satpol PP Badung
File photo of authorities stopping a foreigner without a mask in Jimbaran in September 2020. Photo: Satpol PP Badung

Foreigners are not exempt from the new mandatory mask rule, an official said yesterday, after an unannounced inspection in North Kuta caught mostly foreign nationals out and about without a mask on. 

“People seem to think we are only ready to sanction local residents … that foreigners get a free pass,” I Gusti Agung Ketut Suryanegara, who heads Badung regency’s Public Order Agency (Satpol PP), said.

“People assumed we are only brave enough to sanction local people, but this rule applies to everyone, both Indonesians and foreign nationals who are here [in Bali].” 

According to Suryanegara, almost 80 percent of the people who were caught without masks in Pererenan village yesterday were foreigners. Many of them reportedly reasoned that they were wearing helmets or used cars to go around, and therefore did not come into close contact with other people. 

“The rule said that everyone who is outside their homes must wear masks. If they do not wear masks, they will be fined,” he said. 

While the exact number of people from yesterday were not disclosed, Satpol PP Badung fined 23 people on the first day of the mandatory mask rule on Monday, while dozens of other violators were given warnings. 

Bali province began enforcing a mandatory mask rule this week, as part of a new regulation issued to control coronavirus transmissions on the island. Individuals without masks in public places are subject to an IDR100,000 (US$6.74) fine.

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