Car Free Day canceled (again) after Sunday event drew huge crowds

Car Free Day (CFD) in Jakarta on June 21, 2020. Photo: Twitter
Car Free Day (CFD) in Jakarta on June 21, 2020. Photo: Twitter

Just as Jakartans were happy to finally be able to tie up their laces for a morning run in the heart of the capital, Car Free Day (CFD) has once again been suspended after the event drew huge crowds when it reopened for the first time on Sunday.

Jakarta Transportation Agency head Syafrin Liputo announced the suspension of CFD today.

“CFD on Sudirman-Thamrin, [the next of which is scheduled] on June 28, has been cancelled until further notice,” he said.

CFD, which involves the closure of Central Jakarta’s main commercial thoroughfare including Jalan Sudirman and Jalan MH Thamrin to motorized vehicles every Sunday morning, was held for the first time in months on June 21, albeit without street food vendors. 

Many criticized the provincial government’s decision on the matter, as the event was overcrowded from start to finish, despite Jakarta still having the highest COVID-19 caseload in the country.

 

Officials also performed rapid tests on some 600 people at CFD last Sunday, in which five people received “reactive” results. However, the five later tested negative for the coronavirus after they were made to take PCR tests.

The Jakarta Provincial Government has since admitted that it underestimated the number of people who would turn up for CFD.

Jakartans seem to be eager for some outdoor exercise following months of partial lockdown measures in the capital. Earlier this month, thousands flocked to the Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) sports complex for exercise and selfies when the facility reopened.

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