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Indonesia to tighten COVID-19 restrictions


Indonesia to tighten COVID-19 restrictions

M Risyal Hidayat Antara Foto via Reuters
Photo: M Risyal Hidayat/Antara Foto/Reuters

Indonesia will enforce tightened COVID-19 restrictions beginning today.

The new measures, which forbid large gatherings and requires venues to operate at reduced capacity with fewer hours, are set to expire on the 2nd of January. They come amid concerns that mass gatherings during the Christmas and New Year’s Period could increase the spread of the virus. Additionally, the Omicron variant was detected in the country on December 18.

Daily COVID-19 case numbers in Indonesia have remained relatively low compared to a peak of more than 350,000 cases between July 5-12. However, vaccination rates remain low, with only 39% of the population fully vaccinated and nearly 56% with one shot. Likewise, rolling out the vaccine has been fraught and is not likely to pick up significant speed in the short-term.

Provided no surge in case numbers, the restrictions are likely to expire without extension. The Indonesian government is however likely to maintain baseline restrictions to curb the spread of the virus. Additionally, Indonesia may tighten rules for the unvaccinated to incentivize them to get vaccinated. In the medium-term, the Omicron variant is likely to take hold in the country, leading to harsher restrictions.

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