Indonesia continues 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 Oct. 26. Areas with significant COVID-19 activity can apply to the central government to enact large-scale social distancing rules. While controls vary by location, common restrictions in these areas include suspending schools and closing or limiting workplaces' operating hours. A nationwide public health emergency remains in effect until further notice.
As of Oct. 26, large-scale social distancing curbs are in place in the following areas:
- Jakarta: Local authorities have extended restrictions by two weeks through Nov. 8. Nonessential industries can operate on-site with a maximum of half the workforce; essential industries and the civil service can continue working on-site. Food establishments can serve dine-in customers 0600-2100 daily at a maximum of half the seating capacity. Shopping malls, markets, places of worship, and indoor sporting facilities can host activities at a maximum of 50-percent capacity. Cinemas, fitness centers, and recreational parks may open at 25-percent capacity. Public transport may run with reduced passenger capacities and operating hours. Schools remain closed. Officials continue to encourage locals to wear facemasks and observe social distancing when in public.
- Ambon, Maluku Province: The local government has extended protocols as of Oct. 26; the end date of the controls is unclear. Gatherings are limited to 30 people. Public transport can operate until 1800 daily with protocols, such as reduced capacities. Several public places, like cinemas, massage parlors, beauty salons, shopping centers, markets, and food establishments, can operate with reduced operating hours. Other facilities, including karaoke parlors, remain closed. Authorities have set up 20 checkpoints to enforce protocols. Violators may receive fines of up to IDR 30 million (USD 2,100).
- Banten Province: Protocols are in place through Nov. 19. Authorities have set up checkpoints to ensure that vehicle passengers adhere to health controls. However, rules vary across the province. Greater Tangerang limits public transport's operating hours to 0500-1800 daily with protocols. Shopping centers can open until 2000 daily. Serang has set up eight checkpoints to conduct health screening of those entering the area and requires shopping malls to close by 1800.
- Bekasi, Bogor, and Depok, West Java Province: Controls in Bekasi, Bogor, and Depok cities and Bekasi and Bogor regencies are in place through Oct. 27. Employees who can work on-site must bring their identification card, company letter, and a document stating they have tested negative for COVID-19. Factory workers in Bekasi Regency must record their daily movements. Bogor and Depok cities require shopping malls and other public facilities to close by 1800, while people must be home by 2100 daily.
Some localities have lifted large-scale social distancing restrictions due to reduced COVID-19 activity and concerns of the measures' economic impact. However, localized controls like the suspension of night entertainment venues and schools are in effect in several areas without large-scale distancing rules. Additionally, the central government has ordered localities with high COVID-19 activity to allow 75 percent of civil servants to telecommute.
The central government requires intercity land and sea travelers to produce certificates stating they have tested negative for COVID-19. Domestic air travelers must 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 must also show identification documents and download the PeduliLindungi contact tracing application. Officials require planes and public land transport to operate at 70-percent capacity and private-hire vehicles and taxis at 50-percent capacity. There is no capacity limit for sea transport, though other rules are in place. While central authorities have instructed local officials nationwide to implement health protocols like distancing controls, the central and local governments' enforcement level is unclear. Officials may revise measures at short notice.
Locals or workers affected by the pandemic and related controls have staged protests across Indonesia. Further demonstrations are likely, especially if officials do not provide sufficient assistance to affected groups of people.
Most foreign nationals remain banned from entering and transiting the country. Exemptions are in place for permanent residents, diplomats, and transport workers, among others. Arrivals must produce documents stating they are free from COVID-19; travelers without the certificates will undergo tests upon arrival and isolate at government-designated sites until test results are released. Arrivals must also download the PeduliLindungi application. Authorities advise arrivals to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Indonesian authorities have cross-border travel arrangements for business and official purposes with mainland China, Singapore, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates as of Oct. 26. People entering Indonesia under the scheme must have a sponsoring Indonesian entity, test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours before departure, and receive another test upon arrival. Indonesia has set up a similar scheme with Japan, though the start date is unclear. Officials also require people leaving Indonesia to produce certificates stating they do not carry COVID-19.
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.