Gyms and cinemas to remain shut as Jakarta malls set to reopen at half capacity starting next week

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan pictured during the mall opening simulation at Emporium Pluit Mall, North Jakarta on Thursday, June 11. Photo: Instagram/@aniesbaswedan
Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan pictured during the mall opening simulation at Emporium Pluit Mall, North Jakarta on Thursday, June 11. Photo: Instagram/@aniesbaswedan

The current phase of the Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB) protocol in Jakarta, which has been officially phrased as a “transition period,” will see malls in the capital reopening at half capacity starting next Monday. 

Malls in Jakarta have been closed for more than two months in order to curb the spread of COVID-19, and while not all facilities will get to reopen simultaneously, this period is intended to serve as a transition from the partial lockdown policy to the so-called “new normal” in the city. However, facilities such as fitness centers and cinemas won’t be reopening during this time. 

“There are several exceptions that must be obeyed. First, children’s playground and temporary children’s playground are not yet allowed to operate. Second, gyms or fitness centers are also not allowed, cinemas as well. Then exhibitions, shows also can’t [be held],” Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said yesterday during the mall opening simulation at Emporium Pluit Mall, North Jakarta.

In addition, wedding receptions and other events that are usually held at multi-function halls located in a number of malls across the city will also not be permitted.

“Function halls also can’t be [opened], they still can’t be used to hold wedding receptions and other events. There will be technical provisions with details to come,” Anies said.

In a regulation issued by the Tourism and Creative Economy Agency, children below 5 years old are forbidden to enter malls during the transitional PSBB period.

Ellen Hidayat, who heads the Jakarta chapter of the Indonesian Shopping Center Management Association (APPBI), said last week that the majority of malls in Jakarta will be open from 11am to 8pm daily, also highlighting that leisure facilities such as cinemas, fitness centers, karaoke places, children’s playgrounds and course centers are still being considered to reopen in the next phase of PSBB. 

In addition to standard COVID-19 protocols ⁠— such as the obligatory face masks, temperature checks, and signs to maintain physical distance between visitors ⁠— several leading malls in Jakarta have adjusted their facilities to the new normal way of living. Malls such as Pondok Indah Mall and Senayan City have installed touchless elevator buttons to minimize the risk of transmission.

The Jakarta provincial government extended PSBB last week, marking the fourth phase of the protocol since it was first implemented in April. Anies said the city’s government has set the month of June as a transition period ⁠— while the end date wasn’t specified, the first evaluation is scheduled for the end of the month.

Anies said last week that the decision to take PSBB into a transition period was taken due to the growing numbers of green and yellow areas ⁠— in reference to areas with low and medium levels of transmission ⁠— with many areas still marked in red, indicating high rates of infection. During the transition period, businesses and individuals are still subject to sanctions as previously laid out, should they be found violating regulations under PSBB.

A number of public and business activities which are not within Jakarta’s red zones are permitted to gradually resume at 50 percent capacity and following specified protocols throughout the month of June, with houses of worship and outdoor sports facilities being allowed first.

The rest of the month will see different sectors reopening at half capacity under a schedule laid out by the provincial government. Offices, warehouses, museums, galleries, libraries, as well as stand-alone restaurants and shops, for example, have started reopening on Monday, while malls and shopping centers are in line to reopen next week. 

It is unclear whether Jakarta might reverse its loose restrictions after recording the city’s highest single-day increase ⁠— at 232 cases ⁠— on Tuesday, according to data from the Indonesian Health Ministry.

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