Gov’t to tighten social restrictions in ‘high-risk’ Java and Bali from Jan. 11 to 25

Indonesia’s Economic Affairs Coordinating Minister Airlangga Hartarto. Photo: Presidential Press Bureau
Indonesia’s Economic Affairs Coordinating Minister Airlangga Hartarto. Photo: Presidential Press Bureau

The central government is applying tighter social restrictions in high-risk COVID-19 regions, which include Jakarta and other cities and regencies throughout Java and Bali, in order to help minimize the spread of the viral disease.

After a meeting between the cabinet and governors at the Presidential Palace today, Economic Affairs Minister Airlangga Hartarto, who heads the COVID-19 Handling and Economic Recovery Committee, told reporters that from Jan. 11 to 25, certain regions on the two islands are going back to tighter restrictions similar to those previously outlined in the Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB) protocol, which were adapted to the needs and circumstances of respective regions.

Under the central government’s instructions, affected cities and regencies will be required to limit work from office capacity to 25 percent, resume online learning, and limit capacity at religious facilities to 50 percent during the two weeks. Furthermore, shopping malls will be required to close by 7pm, while restaurants are only allowed to serve dine-in customers amounting to a maximum 25 percent capacity of their venue.

Areas in which the restrictions are enforced must fulfill four parameters for high-risk COVID-19 transmission, namely those with a death rate above the national average of 3 percent, those with a recovery rate below the national average of 82 percent, those with active cases above the national average of 14 percent, and those with hospital occupancy rate average of more than 70 percent.

The regions that have met all the parameters are Jakarta; Bogor, Bogor regency, Depok, Bekasi, Bekasi regency, Bandung, West Bandung regency, and Cimahi in West Java; Tangerang, Tangerang regency, and South Tangerang in Banten; Semarang, Solo, and Banyumas in Central Java; Gunung Kidul regency, Sleman regency, and Kulonprogo in Yogyakarta; Malang and Surabaya in East Java; and Denpasar and Badung regency in Bali.

The restrictions may be extended pending government review.

During the meeting, President Joko Widodo said he may consider a lockdown in Indonesia amid rising COVID-19 cases, citing over 110,000 active cases in December compared to the previous month. He called on the public to be more disciplined in observing health protocols as he would like to avoid enforcing a lockdown if possible.

As of Jan. 5, Indonesia has reported 779,548 COVID-19 cases, 104,693 of which were active cases. The country’s death rate from the disease currently stands at 23,109, while 645,746 have recovered.

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