ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter
Coronavirus

Indonesia eases COVID curbs across Java, with tourism set to reopen

Jokowi urges faster vaccination ahead of National Games

A restaurant in Bogor, near Jakarta: Diners will be able to eat for longer under Indonesia's latest easing of its COVID-19 restrictions.   © Reuters

JAKARTA -- Tourist sites in Java will reopen gradually and diners can stay for an hour in a restaurant under the latest easing of COVID-19 mobility restrictions that take effect Tuesday across the densely populated Indonesian island.

The government said only small parts of Java -- where over half of Indonesia's 270 million people live -- remain under the strictest PPKM Level 4 emergency curbs, reflecting continued declines in coronavirus cases and deaths in recent weeks after a surge driven by the delta variant.

But the island of Bali, a magnet for international tourists, is likely to remain at Level 4 for another week, a government official said.

Yogyakarta Province, a major tourist destination in the heart of Java, is joining Jakarta and other major metropolitan areas on the island in having relaxed curbs.

"But [President Joko Widodo] has underlined that the pandemic has not ended. The virus isn't likely to disappear completely. We can only try to control its spread," Airlangga Hartarto, Indonesia's chief economic minister, told a virtual press briefing Monday evening. "So please remain alert despite the declines in cases. They're not evenly distributed, and the situation is still dynamic."

Dining in at restaurants previously was allowed for a maximum of 30 minutes, though enforcement has been lax outside greater Jakarta. Restaurants will continue to operate at half capacity.

The latest easing follows partial reopening of schools that began last week, as well as longer operating hours for malls and traditional markets where visitors are screened using a smartphone app showing their vaccination status.

Indonesia's confirmed new infections averaged 7,700 daily during the past seven days, down roughly half from the previous week and far below the country's record of over 50,000 daily cases in mid-July. The death toll also has fallen to fewer than 600 per day in the past week.

On Monday, Southeast Asia's largest economy reported 4,413 new cases and 612 new deaths, bringing its total to over 4.1 million infections with 136,473 fatalities.

But concerns remain for regions outside Java, including the resort island of Bali, where hospital occupancy rates for COVID-19 patients are still high, the government said.

"We estimate that Bali needs another week to see [its curbs] down to Level 4," said Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the chief coordinating minister for maritime affairs and investment.

Indonesia on Monday welcomed the arrival of 5 million doses of Sinovac's vaccine, bringing the total doses of coronavirus vaccines the country has received to 225.4 million. The majority of the doses are from Sinovac, with smaller portions from AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech.

As of Monday, 59% of Jakarta's nearly 11 million residents have been fully vaccinated, but the national average is lower at 14%.

Hartarto said Widodo, known popularly as Jokowi, has instructed that inoculations be accelerated in the remote Papua Province, which hosts Indonesia's National Games next month, as well as other provinces where vaccination is especially low -- including Aceh, West Sumatra, South Kalimantan and Southeast Sulawesi.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends July 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to Nikkei Asia has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more