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Strict PSBB returns in Jakarta as Governor Anies Baswedan pulls ‘emergency brake’

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Jakarta will once again go into strict lockdown mode, at least officially speaking, after Governor Anies Baswedan yesterday announced that the Large Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB) protocol will be restored amid an alarming rise of COVID-19 cases in the capital.

PSBB will come into effect starting Sep. 14 and will remain in effect for as long as necessary, as Anies acknowledged that the rise in cases in Jakarta is worse than it has ever been since restrictions were eased in June, and especially in the past few weeks.

“We are pulling the emergency brake as we are forced to return to large scale restrictions like in the beginning of the pandemic,” Anies said.

“This is a more alarming emergency than before. So don’t leave home unless you have to. Don’t leave Jakarta unless absolutely necessary.

“The death toll keeps rising every day. This is what we must be concerned about. They aren’t just statistics.”

Anies also noted that 77 percent of hospital beds in Jakarta are occupied, and that hospitals are projected to be full by Sep. 17.

While this is effectively a return to the old PSBB at the beginning of the pandemic, Anies did reiterate some main points regarding restrictions starting on Sep. 14, which include the closure of schools/colleges, houses of worship, offices, public facilities and restrictions on public transportation, with some exceptions.

The public will be required to once again work from home, except those working in the sectors of health, food, energy, communications, finance, logistics, hotels, construction, strategic industries, public services, and daily needs.

Essentially, people will be expected to stay at home except for essential trips like grocery runs or emergencies. Vehicles, private or otherwise, will be capped at half capacity, and motorcyclists will be required to wear masks and gloves. Road access in and out of Jakarta will be shut to the general public.

Restaurants will be allowed to open, but only to serve takeaway and delivery orders. In addition, crowds of more than five people will once again be banned.

Violators of PSBB may face up to one year imprisonment or a fine of up to IDR100 million (US$6,712) in accordance with the Health Quarantine Law.

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