The Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan. (Photo courtesy of the Coordinating Ministry or Maritime Affairs and Investment)

Restaurant, Shopping Mall, Crowd Bans to Return as Covid-19 Cases Soar


DECEMBER 15, 2020

Jakarta. The government will limit restaurants', movie theaters,' and shopping malls' operation hours and ban crowds and New Year celebrations in public places as the number of Covid-19 new cases and daily deaths soar in the country, the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said on Monday. 

Luhut said Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, East Java, and Bali must impose the curfew starting Dec 18 to Jan 8 and ban the Christmas and New Year celebrations as the government adamant not to repeat its mistake letting the people gather during the Prophet Muhammad's Birthday holidays at the end of October. 


"The number of positive numbers and mortality rates has continued to increase after the holidays. Previously, it was trending down," Luhut said in a statement. 

Luhut highlighted the numbers in Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, East Java, South Sulawesi, North Sumatra, Bali, and South Kalimantan as particularly worrying. 

The minister asked the Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan to tighten the so-called large scale social restrictions (PSBB) in the capital. Jakarta must require 75 percent of office workers to work from home, after loosening it to 50 percent last month. 

"I also asked the governor to continue the policy of limiting malls operating hours to 07:00 p.m. and limiting the number of people gathering at dining places, malls, and entertainment venues," said Luhut.

The minister said shopping center owners should provide rent or service charge relief to their tenants, to alleviate their burden under the renewed lockdowns. 

"Rental and service charge relief schemes should be mutually agreed between shopping centers and tenants," he said.

Activities that could potentially gather large numbers of people, such as celebrations and religious events, be restricted, banned, or carried out online instead, Luhut said. 

The National Police and Indonesian Military to intensify enforcement of the health protocol rules. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo would rally the troops to show the government's "strong commitment" in the enforcement effort, Luhut said. 

The minister also asked West Java, Central Java, and East Java governors to optimize the provinces' use of isolation centers to curb the Covid-19 spread. 

"I ask local governments also to tighten social restrictions based on urban and rural contexts," Luhut said. 

In the urban area, local governments must tighten the Work From Home (WFH) rules and limit the operating hours of restaurants, entertainment, malls to 08:00 p.m. For rural areas, local governments must strengthen social restrictions at micro and community scale, Luhut said.