An announcement at CGV Cinema in the Grand Indonesia shopping mall in Central Jakarta on Monday telling people the movie theater is closed for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus epidemic. (Antara Photo/Rivan Awal Lingga)

Jakarta Closes Cinemas, Nightclubs for Two Weeks


MARCH 24, 2020

Jakarta. The Jakarta administration started shutting down entertainment centers including pubs, nightclubs, movie theaters, karaoke bars and fitness centers on Monday to try to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the capital, now seen as the epicenter of the pandemic in Indonesia. 

Jakarta has been the worst-hit region in the country during the pandemic so far, with 353 confirmed cases and 29 deaths, according to central government data released on Monday. 


Governor Anies Baswedan issued an ordinance last week declaring a state of emergency for the capital. 

Anies also issued a circular ordering offices in the capital to limit their activities and tell staff to work from home and for entertainment centers to close their premises for two weeks. 

Jakarta's department of tourism and creative economy issued a circular on Friday ordering pubs, night clubs, bars, karaoke bars, concert arenas, massage parlors, spas, cinemas, bowling alleys and video-game arcades to close until April 5.

The department also told event organizers to suspend all events for two weeks from March 23 to April 5. 

The National Police said they would start dispersing non-essential public gatherings including wedding parties and people hanging out at coffee shops.

Resisting the police order could risk a jail term of between 16 months and 15 years. 

Jakarta and several other provinces have also shut down schools and told them to organize online classes.

In Bekasi, an industrial suburb around 20 kilometers southeast of Jakarta, entertainment spots have also been told to shut. 

The city administration has also decided to ban street vendors but is still allowing brick and mortar stores to open as long as the "staff wear protective gear including masks and rubber gloves," Bekasi Mayor Rahmat Effendi said on Monday. 

Indonesia has reported 579 Covid-19 cases until Monday, having ramped up rapid tests in the past few days to find asymptomatic carriers – people with the coronavirus who do not show any symptoms of the infection – with the hope of being able to isolate as many of them as possible before they spread the virus to more people. 

So far, 49 people have died from Covid-19 in Indonesia and only 30 have recovered.