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Jakarta Post

What you need to know about large-scale social restrictions in Jakarta

  • Rizki Fachriansyah
    Rizki Fachriansyah

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, September 10, 2020   /   02:20 pm
What you need to know about large-scale social restrictions in Jakarta An official from MRT Jakarta walks inside an empty train on Dec. 10, 2018. (Antara/Hafidz Mubarak A)

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan announced that he would reimpose large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) starting next week to limit people's movement in the capital in anticipation of a shortage of hospital beds.

The governor is expected to issue another gubernatorial decree to officially roll back the transitional measures that have been in place for the past few weeks as the capital continues reporting an ever-increasing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

As of Wednesday afternoon, authorities had confirmed at least 49,837 COVID-19 cases in Jakarta, making up nearly a quarter of the country’s official tally of 203,342 cases. As many as 1,347 fatalities from the disease have been reported in the capital out of a nationwide death toll of 8,336 on Wednesday. Discrepancies in national and city data remain an issue.

So what does it mean to return to stricter social restrictions? How will it be different from the last time PSBB was enforced in April? While most provisions will likely remain the same, the Jakarta administration is introducing some minor adjustments, with more details to emerge in the coming days.

Here are some key takeaways expected in the upcoming PSBB that will be reimposed in Jakarta starting Monday.

Restricted access to public facilities, events

Students will continue to learn from home as schools remain closed due to the pandemic. Access to other public spaces, such as state-owned and privately owned entertainment venues, public parks, gyms and museums will also continue to be restricted.

“The same [restrictions] apply to social and cultural events. We will also limit them. Wedding ceremonies [may still be held], but only if they take place at the religious affairs office,” Anies said in a press conference on April 7.

All public celebrations, such as wedding receptions, would be strictly forbidden.

Such restrictions are in line with Article 13 of Health Ministerial Decree No. 9/2020 on PSBB guidelines, which stipulates that large-scale social restrictions consist of closing schools and offices, limiting religious gatherings, public facilities, social and cultural activities and other matters related to defense and security, as well as transportation.

In his latest press conference on Sept. 9, Anies said that all entertainment venues and city parks would be closed off again, and that all education activities are to continue from home.

The governor also detailed new provisions for houses of worship, saying that large-scale places of worship are not allowed to operate, and that smaller houses of worships at the neighborhood or community level may remain open so long as strict health protocols are observed.

The exceptions to this rule are houses of worship in areas with a high number of COVID-19 cases.

Jakarta's social restrictions in a nutshell.Jakarta's social restrictions in a nutshell. (JP/SRH)

Limited public mobility

Public transportation services will limit passenger numbers to 50 percent of their normal capacity and restrict operational hours from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Anies said ahead of imposing the PSBB in April.

Private vehicles will still be allowed to pass through Jakarta's streets, as well as in and out of the capital, albeit with a limited number of passengers in each vehicle.

Large-scale social restrictions for motor vehicles in Jakarta.Large-scale social restrictions for motor vehicles in Jakarta. (JP/Sandy Riady)

According to the Health Ministry's PSBB guidelines, app-based motorcycle taxis are also not allowed to transport passengers, although they are still permitted to transport goods.

Furthermore, gatherings of more than five people will also be prohibited to minimize the risk of coronavirus infection, Anies said.

Starting next week, public transportation would be "severely restricted", Anies said on Sept. 9. The odd-even policy would again be temporarily lifted, but the governor advises people to refrain from non-essential travel.

The city administration is to coordinate with its counterparts that make up Greater Jakarta on transport restrictions.

Industry sectors providing ‘essential services’ to remain fully operational

Eight industry sectors that provide products and services considered to be essential will remain fully operational to cater to the everyday needs of the public amid the public health emergency, Anies said in April.

These include companies and organizations in the sectors of health, food, energy (including water supply, gas and fuel stations), communications (including telecommunication providers and media), finance (including banks and stock market), delivery of logistics, daily needs retailers (including grocery stores and minimarkets), as well as strategic sectors in the capital.

“So all businesses, except these eight sectors, are urged to work from home. The health sector, for instance, is still allowed to resume normal operations. The sector is not only limited to hospitals or clinics; companies that produce soap and disinfectants, for example, which are very relevant to the current situation will not cease [their operations],” Anies told the press at the time.

He said restaurants and food stalls could still operate but only to provide take out and delivery service.

It’s oh so quiet: A mall in Senayan, Central Jakarta, is relatively empty of customers as retail businesses face the adverse effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The global epidemic is putting the resilience of Indonesia’s economy to test.It’s oh so quiet: A mall in Senayan, Central Jakarta, is relatively empty of customers as retail businesses face the adverse effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The global epidemic is putting the resilience of Indonesia’s economy to test. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

In addition, NGOs that manage relief funds and community initiatives related to the ongoing mitigation efforts will also be allowed to carry on with their activities.

That said, the aforementioned companies and organizations must still comply with the established mitigation procedures.

“They all need to operate in accordance with the COVID-19 mitigation procedures, which means physical distancing, making it obligatory [for employees] to wear masks and providing access to hand-washing facilities,” he said.

Anies announced on Sept. 9 that two more industry sectors would be allowed to operate as essential services starting next week: hotels and construction.

Jakarta administration to ensure security of low-income families

Anies has said the administration, in cooperation with the central government, would provide aid to low-income families, as well as those considered most vulnerable to poverty during the implementation of large-scale social restrictions.

“The Jakarta administration, along with the police and the military, will facilitate the distribution of Sembako [the nine basic commodities] to people residing in densely populated areas,” he said, adding that he hoped the efforts would help low-income families fulfill their daily needs during the crisis.

Anies ensured that markets would also remain accessible during the self-isolation period as city-owned market operator Pasar Jaya was already providing a home shopping service involving sellers in 150 markets.


Editor's note: This explainer is developing and we will update it as soon as we receive more information.