The Indonesian President Joko Widodo has held a press conference and told the nation that the pandemic has not yet passed. With this in mind, Jokowi says, people across Indonesia must start wearing masks in outdoor crowded public settings once again. This latest Covid-19 update comes just 54-days after the Indonesian President scrapped the requirement to wear masks in an outdoor environments.
Speaking from the Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta, Sunday 10 July, Jokowi said ‘I also want to remind all of us, that Covid-19 still exists. Because [of this] both indoors and outdoors wearing a mask is still a must’. Later in his speech, he said ‘that the regional governments, our district, and provincial governments and the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) must continue to carry out booster vaccinations because this is really needed’.
Although caseloads in Indonesia are under control, they are rising. This is why Jokowi has reinforced the mask mandate for all people across all Indonesian islands, this includes visitors to Bali. There are some exceptions to the rules. People only need to wear masks in outdoor environments where the space is crowded and social distancing is not enforceable.
This means that people must wear masks in busy areas like streets, beaches, parks and at events. The mask mandate remains in place for wearing masks in indoor public such as shopping centers, cinemas, places of the workshop, and public transport. Outdoor activities like gardening, sports, or dining outdoors away from other tables does not require a mask.
These stipulations were quoted by Jokowi as published on Indonesia’s Covid-19 information site Setkab. ‘If people are doing outdoor activities or in open areas that are not crowded with people, they [do not need] to wear masks…however, for activities in closed [and crowded] spaces and public transportation, masks must still be used’.
Jokowi also asked people who are classed as vulnerable to Covid-19 to proceed with caution in the coming weeks. He asked that people in these categories and their family and friends continue to wear masks when they socialize. He advised that anyone who is showing symptoms of cold or flu, even if not Covid-19, wear a mask while out and about.
The President touched upon the latest travel requirements for both domestic and international travelers to Indonesia. He confirmed that there is no change in the recent scrapping of PCR testing. He said ‘For domestic and foreign travelers who have received a complete dose of vaccinations, there [remains] no need to carry out PCR or antigen swab tests’.
The Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto spoke at the Presidential Office in Jakarta on Monday morning. He laid out his plans for the booster vaccination to become mandatory for travelers who are arriving by air, and for anyone who wants to enter crowded public spaces.
The mandate requiring Indonesian citizens to have a booster vaccine for entering crowded public spaces and traveling domestically or internationally by air comes into effect on the 17th of July.
The Indonesian government has not yet released a date for the booster vaccine requirement to come into place for international travelers. Last week the Java-Bali Covid-19 Restrictions Coordinator Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan confirmed that these new regulations would come into effect ‘in the next two weeks’.
The Indonesian government is not the only office looking to increase the rollout of the booster vaccine mandate. On the 6th of July the new Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese told the media that the need for a third and fourth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine was becoming ‘a matter of urgency’ and simply an ‘inevitable’ part of living with Covid-19.
In light of the recent developments shopping malls, airports and other public spaces are reopening as vaccine centers. In Bali, there will be localized vaccination campaigns run by each regency’s Covid-19 Task Force. It is believed that the international and domestic terminals at Ngurah Rai Airport will soon have booster vaccine drop-in clinics.
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