One of the ways to combat the spread of COVID-19 in Indonesia is to implement Limitation of Large-Scale Social Interactions (Pembatasan Sosial Berskala Besar or “PSBB”). PSBB is a health quarantine measure under Law No. 6 of 2018 on Health Quarantine (August 7, 2018) (“HQ Law”) and is further supported by Government Regulation No. 21 of 2020 on the Limitation of Large-Scale Social Interactions to Expedite Countermeasures Against COVID-19 (March 31, 2020) (“GR 21/2020”), which was issued as an implementing regulation.
The Indonesian Ministry of Health (“MOH”) enacted MOH Regulation No. 9 of 2020 on Guidelines for PSBB to Expedite Countermeasures Against COVID-19 (April 3, 2020) (“MOH Reg 9/2020”) to further regulate the mechanism for governors/regents/mayors to apply to the MOH to implement PSBB in their regions, as introduced by GR 21/2020.
On April 7, 2020, DKI Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan announced that the MOH had approved the enactment of PSBB in DKI Jakarta Province, under MOH Decree No. HK.01.07/MENKES/239/2020 on the Determination of PSBB in DKI Jakarta Province to Expedite Countermeasures Against COVID-19.
This was followed by the issuance of Governor of DKI Jakarta Province Decree No. 380 of 2020 regarding the Enactment of PSBB to Handle COVID-19 in DKI Jakarta Province (April 9, 2020). This decree states that DKI Jakarta will implement PSBB for 14 days, from April 10 to April 23, 2020. A day later, Governor Baswedan issued Governor of DKI Jakarta Province Regulation No. 33 of 2020 regarding the Implementation of PSBB to Handle COVID-19 in DKI Jakarta Province (April 10, 2020) (“Governor Reg 33/2020”).
Implementation of PSBB under MOH Reg 9/2020
PSBB is defined under MOH Reg 9/2020 as the limitation of certain public activities in an area with suspected COVID-19 cases to prevent its possible spread.
In determining whether a region can put in place PSBB measures, the MOH relies on the criteria in GR 21/2020:
- total number of cases and/or total number of deaths resulting from illness are increasing and spreading in a significant and swift manner to several regions; and
- there exists an epidemiological link with similar cases in other regions or countries.
A governor/regent/mayor – together or separately – may submit an application to the MOH for PSBB enactment if they believe their region meets the above criteria. In cases where only the regent/mayor is applying for PSBB, they must first consult with their governor and copy the governor in the application letter.
A PSBB enactment application shall included the following information:
- the growth in the number of cases over time along with an epidemiological curve;
- the spread of cases over time with the relevant mapping of such spread; and
- events of local transmission with the result of an epidemiologic investigation that states second- and third-generation transmission has occurred.
A determination from the MOH for PSBB will be delivered no later than two days after the application has been submitted. Although the form of determination was not specified in MOH Reg 9/2020, we have seen in practice that it will most likely be issued in the form of an MOH decree. In cases where a region no longer meets the criteria for PSBB, the MOH may revoke its approval.
The governor/regent/mayor shall record and report the implementation of PSBB measures in their respective region and report them to the MOH as the basis to assess the success of the PSBB implementation. PSBB implementation shall also be guided and supervised by the governor/regent/mayor and the Task Force to Expedite Countermeasures Against COVID-19, as established by the President, consistent with their respective authorities.
PSBB may be implemented for 14 days. If new evidence of COVID-19 spread is found during the implementation, the PSBB measures may be extended by 14 days from the date when the most recent COVID-19 case was found.
PSBB implementation shall consist of the following measures:
- temporary closure of schools and workplaces;
- limitations on religious activities;
- limitations on activities in public places or facilities;
- limitations on social and cultural activities
- limitations on transportation modes; and
- limitations on other activities related to defense and security.
Although the MOH has provided guidelines for the implementation of the above measures, each region may structure the measures according to its specific needs and circumstances, as DKI Jakarta has done in Governor Reg 33/2020.
Implementation of PSBB in DKI Jakarta under Governor Reg 33/2020
- Temporary closure of schools
School and/or educational institution activities in Jakarta shall be conducted at home/residence during the PSBB implementation. An exemption is given for educational, training and research institutions linked to health services. In conducting this measure, the head of the school and educational institution shall ensure that the learning process continues during the implementation of the PSBB measures, while preventing the spread of COVID-19.
- Temporary closure of workplaces
Work activities in Jakarta shall be temporarily conducted from home/residence during PSBB implementation. During the temporary closure, office managements shall ensure the services provided and/or business activities continue to operate in a limited manner, protect the productivity of employees, prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the safety of the workplace, and also provide assistance to employees exposed to COVID-19.
The following are exempted from mandatory closure:
- all government offices/institutions, central or regional, based on the regulations of the relevant ministries;
- foreign representative offices and/or international organizations conducting diplomatic and consular functions, along with other functions under international law;
- state/regional-owned enterprises handling COVID-19 and/or fulfilling the public’s primary needs under the regulations of the relevant ministry and/or the Government of DKI Jakarta Province;
- business actors operating in the sectors of health, foodstuffs/food/drinks, energy, communications and information technology, finance, technology, logistics, hotels, construction, strategic industries, basic services, public utilities and industries that have been determined as national vital objects, and/or daily needs;
- local and international public organizations in the field of disaster relief and/or socialization.
For offices that fall under the above exemption, management must implement social distancing among employees during work activities, social distancing of people with underlying conditions and/or who are vulnerable to COVID-19, and protocols to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace.
Governor Reg 33/2020 provides specific guidelines for restaurants, food stalls and similar businesses, hotels, and construction work. These include:
- restaurants, food stalls and similar businesses are to limit their service to take-away and deliver through online and telephone orders;
- hotels must provide special services for guests who are self-quarantining, and they must suspend activities and close facilities that may violate social distancing efforts;
- construction projects must provide housing and the daily needs for all workers for as long as they are in the project area.
- Limitations on religious activities
Religious activities during PSBB shall be conducted at home. Although not mentioned in Governor Reg 33/2020, the MOH provides that such religious activities at home may be attended by limited family members, provided that distance is maintained between each person. Any exemption for religious activities should be guided by the relevant laws and regulations, and the views of official religious institutions that are acknowledged by the Government.
- Limitations on activities in public places or facilities
All public places or facilities shall be temporarily closed for public activities during PSBB implementation. With regard to crowd control, any activity in a public place or facility may be attended by no more than five people.
An exemption is provided for activities conducted for (i) fulfilling primary and/or fulfilling daily needs such as providing, processing, distributing and/or delivering foodstuffs/food/drinks, energy, communications and information technology, finance, banking, and payment system, and/or logistics; and (ii) individual sports activities in the area outside of homes.
The term “fulfilling primary and/or daily needs” for providing, processing, distributing and/or delivering foodstuffs/food/drinks consists of (i) providing retail goods in traditional markets, supermarkets, or stalls, and (ii) laundry services. For the purpose of maintaining economic stability, business actors involved in providing basic/daily needs are prohibited from raising the price of goods.
- Limitations on social and cultural activities
Social and cultural activities consisting of all political, sports, entertainment, academic and cultural gatherings, meetings and activities that would result in people gathering together are prohibited during PSBB.
An exemption is provided for circumcisions in health facilities, weddings in the Religious Affairs Office/Registry Office, and funerals at funeral homes. Such events may be attended by a limited number of people, with physical distancing of at least one meter between each person. Any celebration of such activities that would result in a mass gathering is prohibited.
Further, the attachment of MOH Reg 9/2020 provides that no more than 20 people may attend a funeral and only in cases where the cause of death was not COVID-19.
- Limitations on transportation modes
During PSBB, all movements of people and goods are temporarily suspended except for activities to fulfill primary needs and activities that are permitted during PSBB.
There is no limitation on modes of transportation for the transport of goods related to permitted activities. However, for the transport of passengers, permissible modes of transportation are limited to private cars and motorcycles, public motor vehicles and public train.
The operation of private cars, private motorcycles and public motor vehicles for transporting passengers is permitted in Jakarta, with the following limitations:
- Private cars can carry no more than 50% of the car’s total passenger capacity;
- Application-based motorcycle are only allowed to carry goods and not passengers;
- Public motor vehicles can carry no more than 50% of the vehicle’s total passenger capacity.
- Social Aid for Citizens and Business Actors Affected by PSBB in DKI Jakarta
The Government of DKI Jakarta Province may provide assistance to residents unable to fulfill their primary needs during the implementation of PSBB. It may also provide incentives for business actors affected by the implementation of PSBB. Such incentives may be given in the form of:
- reduction of regional tax and retribution for businesses;
- social aid for employees affected by the implementation of PSBB; and/or
- other aid under the applicable laws and regulations.
Enforcement and Potential Sanctions
Every person shall adhere to and participate in the implementation of the health quarantine (e.g., PSBB). Article 93 of the HQ Law provides that the failure to adhere to and participate in the implementation of the health quarantine, and/or the obstruction of the quarantine resulting in a public health emergency, shall be punishable by imprisonment for a maximum of one year and/or a maximum fine of one hundred million Rupiah.
With regard to enforcement, the chief of the Indonesian National Police (“Kapolri”) issued Announcement of Kapolri No. MAK/2/III/2020 of 2020 on Compliance with the Government’s Policy regarding Countermeasures Against the Spread of COVID-19 (March 19, 2020) (“MAK/2/III/2020”). MAK 2/III/2020 stipulates the police will enforce measures to ensure (i) there are no social activities that will result in mass gatherings; (ii) there is no hoarding of primary needs or other public needs; and (iii) there is no spread of fake news could cause a public panic.
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