The Jakarta Post
The government is considering loosening the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) put in place to stem the transmission of COVID-19, Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy said on Saturday, just days after President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo called for caution with regard to easing restrictions.
“We are trying out reducing restrictions on transportation. [Based on this,] we will see whether we should ease restrictions on other sectors as well,” Muhadjir wrote in a statement on the ministry’s website on Saturday.
Citing economic considerations, the Transportation Ministry allowed public transportation to resume operation last week by opening air, land and sea travel for select purposes, a move that drew strong criticism from experts.
Following the decision, Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten, was packed with passengers lining up for flights, apparently in violation of physical distancing protocols.
Despite the incident at the airport, Muhadjir said he still thought the easing of travel restrictions had gone well. He said that such occurrences could be avoided by well-prepared protocols and sufficient personnel.
“The important thing is that we must enforce regulations. No protocol will work effectively without enforcement in the field,” he said.
Muhadjir added that relaxing PSBB did not affect the ban on mudik (exodus), which he said remained in effect.