President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo inspects a shopping mall in Bekasi on Tuesday. (Antara Photo/Fakhri Hermansyah)

Jakarta Plans to Reopen 64 Shopping Malls Next Week


MAY 26, 2020

Jakarta. More than 60 shopping malls in Jakarta will reopen next week with "new normal" guidelines despite fears of a new spike in Covid-19 cases after the Idul Fitri holiday.

The Association of Indonesian Shopping Mall Managers (APPBI) chairman Ellen Hidayat on Tuesday released a list of 60 malls that will reopen on June 5 and four on June 8.

The malls that will reopen for business on June 5 include popular hangouts Plaza Indonesia, FX Sudirman, Senayan City, Kota Kasablanka, Gandaria City, Plaza Blok M, Lippo Mall Kemang, Plaza Semanggi, Pacific Place, Lotte Shopping Avenue, Mal Ambasador and Central Park Mall.

The four malls that will reopen on June 8 are Grand Indonesia, Teras Benhil, Summarecon Mal Kelapa Gading and Sunter Mall.

Ellen said the shopping malls will implement strict health protocols.

A checkpoint to measure visitors' body temperature will be installed at all entrances. All mall employees and visitors will be required to wear masks at all times.

"All mall employees and tenants must wear protective gear according to the characteristics of their industry. Hand sanitizers should be provided at every entrance and public area," Ellen said.

Visitors must maintain a safe distance from each other, including inside elevators and on escalators.

"Tenants have to provide physical distancing guidelines for their stores. They have to limit the number of visitors in each store and make sure there's enough space near the cash registers," she said.

Seats in dining areas will also be arranged according to the health protocol. Building management will have to disinfect all areas of the malls every few hours. 

Reopening Irresponsible

Meanwhile, the Indonesian Consumer Protection Foundation (YLKI) said the plan to reopen Jakarta's shopping malls was "irresponsible" since the city is not safe yet from the coronavirus. 

"Reopening the shopping malls on June 5 is too early and irresponsible. YLKI rejects the plan," YLKI chairman Tulus Abadi said in a video statement on Tuesday.

According to Tulus, reopening the malls should only be done once the pandemic's curve has flattened in Jakarta – the early epicenter of the Indonesian outbreak. 

"Before the curve flattens, there's no reason for the government to reopen malls, especially in Jakarta," he said.

Tulus demanded Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan reject the plan to reopen the city's malls.

The YLKI also appealed to the public not to visit shopping malls before the pandemic has eased and the large-scale social restriction (PSBB) has been lifted.