Restaurants and small businesses who have been choked by the implementation of the Enforcement of Restrictions on Public Activities (PPKM) can breathe a sigh of relief as President Joko Widodo has eased some restrictions, even if doing so may exacerbate the country’s health crisis.
In a televised national address yesterday evening, the president announced the extension of the level-based PPKM until at least Aug. 2 after the last iteration ended yesterday.
Due to some significant decreases in overnight cases in the past week (which may still fail to reflect the actual extent of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country due to poor testing numbers), Jokowi said the government has decided to ease restrictions in levels 3-4 PPKM (the highest levels) to give more concessions to restaurants and small businesses.
Under the new Level 4 PPKM rules, traditional markets can now open as usual, while markets selling non-essential goods can open to 50 percent capacity until 3pm. Small businesses, including street vendors, convenience stores, and barbershops, among others, can open until 9pm with health protocol rules mandated by their respective regional governments.
Food and beverage businesses, from street food sellers to small kiosks and restaurants that have open-air concepts, are allowed to serve dine-in customers for 20 minutes each, with diners encouraged to minimize speaking with one another while eating. Takeaway and delivery services are still permitted for all restaurants and eateries.
Level 3 PPKM, which previously was nearly identical to Level 4 in terms of restrictions, features even more concessions, such as allowing malls to open to 25 percent capacity until 5pm, allowing houses of worship to open to 25 percent capacity, while customers can dine in at restaurants and eateries for up to 30 minutes each.
There were no changes made to full work from home mandates for Levels 3 and 4 PPKM for non-essential sectors.
Level 4 PPKM is being implemented in 95 cities/regencies in Java — epicenter of Indonesia’s COVID-19 outbreak — and Bali, including Jakarta and its sister cities as well as Bali’s Denpasar and Badung regency. Level 3 is being implemented in 33 cities/regencies on the two islands.
Outside of Java and Bali, Level 4 is being implemented in 45 cities/regencies in 21 provinces, while Level 3 is being implemented in 276 cities/regencies.
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