The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) has made a proposal that may appease both the government’s mass vaccination program and malls that are struggling under tightened restrictions, while possibly frustrating those among the mall-obsessed public who happen to be anti-vax.
During a virtual discussion, Kadin Chairman Arsjad Rasjid floated the idea of malls mandating visitors to present their COVID-19 vaccine certificate upon entry.
“For retailers, malls, the hope is that all workers are vaccinated. And all visitors can present [certificate] to show they’ve been vaccinated, so that malls can open and the retail sector can resume,” he said.
Malls throughout the country, particularly in COVID-19 epicenters in Java and Bali, have been ordered to shut since the implementation of the Emergency Enforcement of Restrictions on Public Activities (Emergency PPKM) on July 3. Businesses have warned of massive layoffs if restrictions were extended for long periods.
Emergency PPKM was replaced with a tiered version of PPKM on July 20, with the highest levels (3 and 4) initially mandating the closure of malls in cities and regencies where the protocol is implemented.
The government slightly relaxed the rules effective from July 26 to at least Aug. 2, allowing malls in Level 3 PPKM regions to open to 25 percent capacity until 5pm.
It’s possible that the government will continue to relax restrictions as Indonesia’s caseload gradually decreases. This may allow for more malls throughout the country to reopen and revive the ailing retail sector, with observation of health protocols, and possibly vaccine certificate requirements, being enforced.