President Joko Widodo calls for tougher sanctions on health protocol violators with Inpres

President Joko Widodo during a cabinet meeting on July 14, 2020. Photo: Instagram/@jokowi
President Joko Widodo during a cabinet meeting on July 14, 2020. Photo: Instagram/@jokowi

President Joko Widodo has issued a Presidential Instruction (Inpres) calling on regional administrations and law enforcement agencies to get tough on health protocol violators during the pandemic.

The Inpres, titled, “Raising Discipline and Law Enforcement of Health Protocols for the Prevention and Management of COVID-19,” was signed on Aug. 4. The document serves as a general outline and legal justification for regional administrations around the nation to enforce sanctions like fines for individuals, groups, or businesses who disobey government mandated health protocols.

Practically all the standard COVID-19 health protocols were mentioned in the Inpres, including mandatory face masks, hand washing or sanitizing stations, and physical distancing requirements in public.

The Inpres states that individual violators should be given social sanctions, such as community service, or financial penalties.

Businesses and public facilities that fail to enforce government mandated health protocols could also face temporary closure.

Last week, West Java became the first province to issue a Gubernatorial Regulation (Pergub) that, most notably, included penalties for health protocol violators, such as a IDR100K (US$6.84) fine for people who don’t wear masks in public. 

The province issued the Pergub with the awareness that Jokowi’s Inpres would soon follow, giving legal justification for the sanctions it contained.

It’s expected that other regional administrations will follow suit and enforce tougher penalties on health protocol violators soon.

As of Aug. 5, Indonesia has 116,871 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 73,889 recoveries and 5,452 deaths. The Inpres comes at a time when many regions, including Jakarta, have begun easing restrictions and lockdowns some five months since the outbreak officially began in Indonesia.


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