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Jakarta Post

Jakarta to apply stricter work-from-office policy to avoid case surge

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, December 16, 2020   /   07:03 pm
Jakarta to apply stricter work-from-office policy to avoid case surge A Jakarta Fire and Rescue Agency officer disinfects City Hall on Dec. 1. The disinfection was carried out after Governor Anies Baswedan and Deputy Governor Ahmad Riza Patria had tested positive for COVID-19. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

The Jakarta Employment Agency (BKD Jakarta) is reportedly set to issue a circular stipulating that local government agencies operate at 25 percent capacity with the remaining employees working from home, as previously ordered by Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan.

The new policy will be effective starting on Friday and end on Jan. 8, 2021.

“We will issue the circular in the near future,” BKD Jakarta head Chaidir said on Tuesday as quoted by tempo.co, adding that the upcoming policy was made in response to Luhut’s order in a meeting on Monday with the governors of Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, East Java and Bali.

“I took part in the meeting and heard the order directly. We will do a follow-up by issuing the circular,” he said.

Since extending its large-scale social restriction [PSBB] policy numerous times, the Jakarta administration has been applying a maximum 50 percent capacity at its agency offices, in line with a regulation issued by the Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Ministry. 

But approaching the year-end holidays, the central government has decided to lower the ratio to 25 percent as part of heightened efforts to curb COVID-19 transmission. 

“Due to concerns on a possible case surge, [the central government] decided to lower the work-from-office capacity,” Chaidir said.

Read also: Government to ban New Year's celebrations in public spaces

Further updated restrictions for the year-end holidays will limit the operating hours for malls, restaurants and entertainment venues to 7 p.m. in Greater Jakarta and 8 p.m. in red zones in West Java, Central Java and East Java.

Separately, the Indonesian Retailers Association (Aprindo) has requested the government to give leeway to its members and allow them to operate “normal operating hours”, said Aprindo chairman Roy N. Mandey.

He argued that most of them applied strict health protocols and allowing their businesses to run normal operating hours would give them the chance to bounce back after suffering between April and June during Ramadan, Idul Fitri and the school holiday season. 

On Monday, the government decided to ban crowd-pulling events and New Year's Eve celebrations from Dec. 18 to Jan. 8, 2021, in a bid to prevent a spike in COVID-19 transmission.

Luhut said the decision was based on the continued and significant rise in new COVID-19 cases, particularly following a five-day weekend at the end of October. 

"The number of daily new cases and the death toll have continued to increase since the late-October [extended break]. Prior to this, we had seen a relatively downward trend," said Luhut. 

The senior minister highlighted the fact that the spike in cases was mainly occurring in eight provinces: Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, East Java, South Sulawesi, North Sumatra, Bali and East Kalimantan. 

Luhut specifically asked Jakarta, the administrative region hardest-hit by the pandemic, to implement an even stricter work-from-home policy that requires 75 percent of workers in the capital to work remotely. (nkn)

Editor’s note: This article is part of a public campaign by the COVID-19 task force to raise people’s awareness about the pandemic.