The Jakarta Post
Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan is set to issue within the next two days a gubernatorial decree on large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) to further limit people's movement in the capital city – the country’s epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The forthcoming decree is meant to officially enforce anticipatory measures that have been in place for the past few weeks -- now set to be coupled with sanctions for violators -- as Jakarta reports an ever-increasing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.
As of Tuesday afternoon, authorities had confirmed at least 1,369 COVID-19 cases in Jakarta, making up nearly half the country’s official tally of 2,738 cases. More than 100 fatalities from the disease have been reported in the capital out of a nationwide death toll of 221 on Tuesday.
But what will such stronger physical distancing measures mean? Here are several key takeaways expected in the upcoming decree detailing the PSBB, which will be imposed in Jakarta starting Friday.
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 Tuesday evening.
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.
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.
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. (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.
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.
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.
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. (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.
As of Tuesday, more than 3,300 companies across the capital have issued work-from-home policies for some 1.2 million employees in response to the outbreak, according to the Jakarta Manpower, Transmigration and Energy Agency.
Jakarta administration to ensure security of low-income families
Anies 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 starting this Thursday,” 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.