Jakarta. Domestic travelers on long-distance transportation modes such as planes, buses, and trains must produce vaccination record of at least the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine, according to new restrictions announced on Thursday as Indonesia is battling a dramatic spike in newly coronavirus cases.
In addition, plane passengers must take a PCR test two days before the flight. Those using other transportation modes must take an antigen test a day prior.
The restrictions will come into force on Saturday until July 20 in stricken Java and Bali, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan told a news conference.
Under the more stringent Covid-19 rules, business entities in non-essential sectors must implement a work-from-home policy for all employees. Whilst essential sectors such as banking and finances have to slash their office capacity by 50 percent. Critical sectors such as energy, health, security, and disaster mitigation can fully operate under strict health protocols.
Schools will stick to online classes, supermarkets and traditional markets will run at a 50 percent capacity until 8:00 p.m.
“Pharmacies and drug stores can open for 24 hours. Whilst malls and trade centers will temporarily close until July 20. Restaurants will only accept delivery orders or take-away," Luhut said.
The new ruling allows governors to allocate the Covid-19 vaccines in their districts and municipalities, especially those who are short in supply.
It also instructs oxygen generators for mostly medical uses during the critical period.
“We have asked the industry minister to instruct oxygen producers to allocate 90 percent of their production for medical needs,” Luhut said.
The government has instructed each province to form a taskforce to ensure adequate supplies of oxygen, medical equipment, and pharmaceuticals. These task forces will coordinate with the health minister in case supply is tight.
At the conference, Luhut revealed Covid-19 relief aid package would make a return with the restriction.
“The president has instructed us to not just curb the pandemic, but also help out the marginal communities. His instructions are loud and clear, which is to not let the people continue to suffer,” Luhut said.
The government hopes the strict social restrictions will help suppress the daily tally under the 10,000 mark per day.
Luhut remarks came as the country again saw the highest single day rise in newly Covid-19 cases, with 24,836 new cases in the last 24 hours. It’s the seventh time the country beats its own record since June 1.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said earlier in the day the government has no choice but to return to social restrictions due to a spike in newly cases attributed to the Delta strain.
“Over the past few days, the pandemic has been growing at an alarming rate due to the new virus variant which is also a serious concern in many countries. This condition forces us to take stricter measures,” Jokowi said in a video message.
“[The restriction] will be even more restrictive than those that have been implemented so far,” Jokowi said.