Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Indonesia continues to adjust COVID-19-related restrictions, including large-scale social distancing measures in some areas, as of Sept. 1.

Alert Begins 01 Sep 2020 11:13 AM UTC
Alert Expires 30 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions, protests; possible quarantine measures

Indonesian authorities continue to adjust restrictions, including large-scale social distancing measures known as PSBB, in several localities to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as of Sept. 1. Regional governments in areas with significant COVID-19 activity can apply to the central authorities to enact large-scale social distancing measures that are extendable by up to four weeks. While controls vary by location, common restrictions in these areas include suspending schools and closing or limiting the operating hours of most workplaces, except for some essential sectors like food and medicine. Entry and exit restrictions are also in effect in locations implementing large-scale social distancing regulations. Exemptions are in place for government officials, medical workers, businesspeople in essential sectors, and people attending family funerals or visiting critically ill relatives, among others. A nationwide public health emergency declaration remains in effect until further notice.

As of Sept. 1, large-scale social distancing restrictions are in place in the following areas:


  • Jakarta: Restrictions are in effect through at least Sept. 10. Offices, shopping malls, and places of worship can open. Public transport can operate at 50-percent capacity and with other social distancing guidelines in place. Schools remain shut until further notice. Cinemas, bowling alleys, and pool halls in Jakarta remain closed; the local government is reportedly planning to reopen cinemas, though the start date remains unclear. Officials have set up 33 checkpoints to inspect the health and official permits of passengers. Authorities continue to encourage residents to wear facemasks and observe a one- or two-meter social distancing when in public, as well as washing their hands regularly.


  • Ambon, Maluku Province: Officials are implementing protocols through at least Sept. 13. Mass gatherings are limited to 30 people. Public transport can operate until 1800 daily with health protocols, such as reduced capacities, in place. Massage parlors and beauty salons can operate 0800-1800 daily, while shopping centers and markets may open 0800-2000 daily. Officials are allowing food establishments to operate 0800-2200 daily. Several public facilities, including cinemas and karaoke parlors, remain closed. Group sport is still suspended, though other sporting activities may take place; fitness facilities like gyms can operate 0800-2000 daily as long as people occupy a maximum of half the venue's capacity. Authorities have set up 20 checkpoints throughout the city to ensure that passengers adhere to health protocols. People who breach regulations may receive fines ranging from IDR 50,000 (USD 3.5) to IDR 30 million (USD 2,100); officials said Aug. 28 that they would tighten the enforcement of curbs in the city.


  • Bekasi, Bogor, and Depok, West Java Province: The local government has extended controls across the region, which includes Bekasi, Bogor, and Depok cities and Bekasi and Bogor regencies, by 28 days through Sept. 29. Authorities attributed the length of the extension to the recent increase in local COVID-19 activity. Officials have required workers who can still work on-site to bring their identification card, company letter, and a document stating they have tested negative for COVID-19. In Bogor city, local authorities announced Aug. 28 that they ordered shopping malls to close by 1800 and required people to be home by 2100 daily. The local government in Depok city has instructed food establishments, supermarkets, and shopping malls to close by 1800, while residents have to be home by 2000 daily. Officials in Bogor and Depok cities attributed the policies to increasing COVID-19 activity in the area.


  • Greater Tangerang, Banten Province: Measures are in place through at least Sept. 6. Trains and public buses may operate 0430-2200 with health protocols, such as requiring workers and passengers to wear facemasks and check body temperatures, in place. Shopping centers can open until 2200 daily. Weddings may take place as long as attendees occupy only up to 35 percent of the venue's capacity. Organizers of weddings are barred from serving food during the events and must implement health protocols, such as ensuring that attendees wear facemasks and observe one-meter social distancing. Officials have set up 48 checkpoints throughout the region.


Officials in some localities have lifted large-scale social distancing restrictions due to reduced COVID-19 activity and concerns of the measures' economic impact. However, some localized controls remain in effect in several locations that are without large-scale social distancing protocols. Areas with significant COVID-19 activity may also implement additional localized measures. Multiple locations, including Jakarta, Bandung, Makassar, and Surabaya, continue to suspend night entertainment venues like nightclubs. Local governments in several areas, including Serang and Surabaya, have continued to ban on-site activities at schools.

Bali Province has allowed domestic tourists to visit the island since July 31. However, authorities have postponed plans to allow Bali to reopen to foreign tourists; officials said the entry restrictions would remain in place in Bali and the rest of Indonesia through at least December.

The central government requires intercity land and sea travelers to produce certificates stating they have tested negative for COVID-19. Domestic air travelers need to provide a doctor's letter certifying the absence of flu-like symptoms, or medical certification with a maximum 14-day validity confirming negative results of a swab or rapid COVID-19 test. Passengers also have to show their identification documents and download the PeduliLindungi contact tracing application. Authorities also require planes and public land transport to operate at 70 percent of their capacity, and private-hire vehicles and taxis at 50-percent capacity. There is no capacity limit for sea transport, though other health protocols are in place. The government's level of enforcement of restrictions is unclear. Authorities have sometimes provided conflicting information about COVID-19 controls in recent weeks; changes to measures may occur at short notice.

Locals or workers in industries affected by COVID-19 controls or company closures have demonstrated against the protocols in parts of Indonesia, including Jakarta, Bandung, Makassar, and Surabaya. Election candidates and organizers also rallied in Ciamis Regency, West Java Province Aug. 13, to oppose the central government's decision to postpone concurrent regional elections due to COVID-19 concerns. Additional protests are likely, especially if the authorities continue to maintain restrictions or if the local governments fail to provide sufficient assistance to the affected employees or groups of people.

Background and Analysis
COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers. Avoid any demonstrations due to the potential for clashes.

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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