Despite the opening of borders and the resumption of the visa on arrival program, the Indonesian government has decided to extend the Level 2 Covid-19 restrictions for the foreseeable future.
According to Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the government has decided to keep the Level 2 enforcements in place indefinitely. He stated, during a press briefing at the State Palace on Monday 9th May, that regular nationwide evaluations have been ongoing.
In alignment with data on Covid-19 cases and reports from local governments, the central government has decided that the Java-Bali PPKM rules will remain in place. The PPKM translates as Community Activities Restrictions Enforcement and was the policy used to implement lockdowns and restrictions of movement during the height of the pandemic.
The restrictions dictated by the PPKM Level 2 are largely focused on capacities for public areas. For many people in Java and Bali, the restrictions imposed by PPKM Level 2 have become part of the new normal. Public transport remains unaffected by PPKM Level 2 and all kinds of public transport, including planes, are allowed to operate at 100% capacity.
In alignment with PPKM Level 2, cafes and restaurants should only stay open until 10 pm local time. They may offer a dine-in time of a maximum of 60-minutes per table and operate at a maximum 75% capacity. Should cafes or restaurants have evening-only opening hours, they may operate from 6 pm until midnight, again with a maximum dine-in time of 60-minutes but a maximum capacity of 50%.
Shopping malls may remain open until 10 pm local time and operate at 75% visitor capacity, whereas movie theatres may only open at 70% capacity. Places of worship may hold services for attendees up to 75% of the building’s capacity.
The restrictions apply to working environments too. Essential sectors such as health, utilities, and other critical services may operate their offices at 100% capacity. Non-essential sectors may operate offices at 75% capacity.
Minister Pandjaitan did confirm that these precautions are simply in place to help keep cases low while the vaccine program continues to be rolled out. He said that such significant efforts had been made to ensure that the majority of the population had received the second dose, and that vulnerable people and those working in essential sectors had received their booster shot before the government would consider reducing the PPKM to Level 1.
There are no areas of Indonesia currently on Level 4, though Madura Island in East Java remains on Level 3 due to inadequate levels of vaccination across the island.
Those in the hospitality sector in Bali may be reluctant to hear that the lockdown restrictions have been extended. Despite being able to operate at 75% capacity there is still a sizeable impact on their revenue. Despite the potential frustrations around capacity, the fact that venues are open is having a positive impact on employment levels.
Bali’s unemployment level shrunk by 0.58% in the first quarter of 2022. Though 0.58% may seem trivial, this equates to an additional 116,410 in work across Bali. While the hotel occupancy is beginning to increase and hotels can re-hire staff, so too is the manufacturing and transportation sector opening up again.
The PPKM also requires the wearing of masks in public in indoor and outdoor settings, unless exempt. Sanitizing hands before entering shops, cafes and public buildings is also mandatory. The central government did not issue a date for the next review of restrictions and said that they will continue to evaluate data as it comes in.
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