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13/04/2020

Jakarta Imposes Partial Lockdown to Curb Spread of Covid-19

 

  1. Overview

     

    Following the issuance of a Minister of Health decree permitting the introduction of large-scale social restrictions (“LSSR”) in Jakarta,[1]  the city’s governor, Mr. Anies Baswedan, has issued a regulation (the “Regulation”)[2] that imposes a range of specific LSSR on Indonesia’s capital. These LSSR, which effectively amount to a partial lockdown, are the first to be officially introduced in Indonesia under the recently issued Government Regulation No. 21 of 2020[3] and the related Minister of Health Regulation No. 9 of 2020, which sets out detailed guidelines governing the application of LSSR (“MOH Guidelines”).[4]

     

    The LSSR in Jakarta have since been followed by the imposition of similar LSSR in Jakarta’s satellite cities of Bogor, Depok, Bekasi, and Greater Tangerang, as well as their surrounding rural areas, with other regions around the country set to follow.

     

    The Jakarta LSSR entered into effect on 10 April 2020 and will continue in effect for 14 days.[5] However, there is little doubt that they will end up being repeatedly extended until such time as the Covid-19 crisis in Indonesia is over. In other words, they are here to stay for the foreseeable future.

     

    As the Jakarta LSSR are the first to have been issued and will serve as a template for many other cities and regions around the country, we will describe them in some detail in this ABNR Legal Update.

     

    But first, a note on terminology: the Health Quarantine Law[6] provides for 2 principal types of emergency response to a major public health threat, namely, area quarantine and large-scale social restrictions. While the term “quarantine” might be more familiar to the public than “large-scale social restrictions,” the emergency measures that may be imposed under both responses are in reality quite similar. The major difference is that the imposition of area quarantine requires the Central Government to shoulder the additional expenditure involved in fulfilling people’s basic necessities, while the LSSR mechanism places responsibility for this squarely on the shoulders of the relevant local government, something that may explain the Central Government’s decision to prioritize LSSR over area quarantine.

     

    It should also be noted at the outset that the Jakarta LSSR  are much more than just a wish list of things that the government would like people to do or not to do. In fact, any violation of the LSSR is subject to criminal sanctions under the Health Quarantine Law in the form of a fine of up to Rp 100 million (around USD 6,500) and/or a term of imprisonment of up to 1 year.

     

    Our analysis of the Jakarta LSSR, which focuses on their impact on business, is arranged as follows:

     

    • Generally applicable restrictions and obligations
    • Mandatory working from home, and list of exemptions
    • Mandatory closure of public places and facilities, list of exemptions and obligations pertaining to exemptions
    • Specific restrictions and obligations applicable to prescribed business / industry sectors (transportation, online motorcycle taxis, restaurants, hotels, construction, and places of entertainment)
    • ABNR Commentary
  2.   

  3. Generally applicable restrictions and obligations

     

    The Regulation imposes a wide range of general restrictions and obligations on people and business in the national capital, including:

     

    • Healthy and hygienic behavior must be practiced
    • Masks must be worn when outside the home
    • Restrictions apply to the following spheres: education, work, religious/devotional activities; public places and facilities; social and cultural activities; and transportation
    • Gatherings of more than 5 people in public places and facilities are prohibited (with exemptions for the public places and facilities referred to in section 5 below);
    • All persons are required to submit to Covid-19 testing in the context of contact tracing, if so instructed by an authorized official;
    • All persons are required to self-isolate in the home and/or a shelter or to report to a hospital for treatment, if so recommended by a health officer;
    • All persons are required to report to a health officer if they or members of their family have been exposed to Covid-19.
  4.  

  5. Mandatory working from home, and list of exemptions

     

    All work outside the home is prohibited, subject to exemptions for workplaces in the following sectors:

     

    1. Government (both central and local offices);
    2. Public sector (state enterprises), where a particular workplace is involved in the Covid-19 response and/or the supply of basic necessities to the public, subject to procedures issued by the relevant ministry and/or the Jakarta Government;
    3. Businesses operating in the following sectors:
      • Health;
      • Food and beverage
      • Energy
      • Communications and information technology
      • Finance
      • Logistics
      • Hotels
      • Construction
      • Strategic industries
      • Basic services, public utilities and industries designated as vital national objects, and other designated facilities; and/or
      • Basic essentials

     

    For all exempted workplaces, the following general restrictions must be adhered to:

     

    • Interaction at work must be restricted
    • Certain persons must be excluded from the workplace, including persons with high blood pressure, heart conditions, diabetes, lung conditions, and cancer; expectant mothers; and persons over the age of 60

     

    In all cases, Covid-19 protocols must be put in place and adhered to in the workplace, addressing such things as:

     

    • Cleanliness and hygiene;
    • Establishment of operational collaboration with a nearby health facility for Covid-19 emergency-response purposes;
    • Provision of vaccinations, and supplementary vitamins and nutrition for employees so as to boost their immunity levels;
    • Regular disinfecting of floors, walls and other parts of workplace;
    • Checking the temperature of employees entering the workplace;
    • Mandatory handwashing with soap and/or hand sanitizer, and the provision of related facilities in the workplace;
    • Physical distancing of a least 1 meter between employees;
    • Displaying of information and advice on the prevention of Covid-19 at important locations in the workplace.

     

    Should a suspected case of Covid-19 be identified in the workplace, then the following actions should be taken:

     

    1. All work in that workplace must be suspended for at least 14 days;
    2. Medical personnel and security staff should remove the individual who is suspected of having Covid-19 and then disinfect the entire workplace and all relevant facilities and equipment;
    3. Should a Covid-19 case be confirmed, work must cease until all of those who came into physical contact with the individual concerned have received medical examinations and completed the required periods of isolation.
  6.   

  7. Mandatory closure of public places and facilities, list of exemptions and obligations pertaining to exemptions

     

    All public places and facilities must be closed, with exemptions for public places and facilities that are used for (a) the provision of basic needs and (b) the provision of everyday necessities.

     

    The provision of basic needs refers to the supply, processing, distribution and/or provision of food and drink supplies, energy, communications and IT facilities; financial, banking and payment services; and/or logistics.

    Meanwhile, public places and facilities that provide everyday necessities consist of (a) wet markets, supermarkets, minimarkets, hypermarkets and wholesalers (in all cases, whether standalone or located in shopping centers); and (b) traditional mom-and-pop stores and street stalls (warung).

     

    However, exempted businesses are required to comply with a range of obligations, including what appears to be a particularly draconian one, namely, the obligation not to increase prices (presumably meaning that prices must be kept at current levels until the lifting of the LSSR, which could be many months away). This is stated by the Regulation as being necessary for the purpose of maintaining economic stability and consumer purchasing power. No further explanation is provided as to the scope or extent of the provision, which could clearly be used to impose what would effectively amount to price controls. Only time will tell whether the provision is intended to be applied generally or whether it will be kept in reserve as a backup weapon should supply chains become disrupted and prices start to rise significantly.

     

    Exempted businesses are also required to:

     

    1. prioritize online or delivery orders;
    2. conduct regular disinfecting;
    3. check the temperatures of every employee and customer entering the premises and ensure that employees with a temperature or symptoms of illness are not present in the workplace;
    4. enforce physical distancing of at least 1 meter;
    5. ensure that employees wear the necessary work clothes in accordance with health and safety requirements;
    6. ensure handwashing with soap or use of hand sanitizers, and provide adequate and easily accessible facilities in this regard for the use of employees and customers.
  8.   

  9. Specific restrictions and obligations applicable to prescribed business / industry sectors

     

    1. Transportation (private and public)

       

      The Regulation imposes a general ban on all forms of passenger and goods transportation, subject to the following exemptions:

       

      • All forms of transportation of basic essentials
      • Private motor vehicles
      • Motorized public transportation vehicles
      • Rail transportation

       

      Each of the above exemptions is subject to a range of specific restrictions that include, among others, the following:

       

      Private cars and motorcycles

       

      Vehicle may only be used for the purpose of obtaining basic necessities and/or for other activities permitted under the LSSR; face masks to be worn by the vehicle’s users; motorcyclists should wear gloves, vehicle must be disinfected after use; driver must not have a temperature or be sick; and in the case of a private car, it may only be used to transport 50% of its maximum passenger capacity.

       

      Public and goods transportation

       

      The vehicle or means of transportation may only be used to transport 50% of its maximum passenger capacity; public transportation to be subject to restricted operating hours; vehicles or means of transportation to be regularly disinfected; temperature of passengers and crew to be checked on entry or boarding; monitoring must be conducted to ensure that crew and passengers do not have temperature / are not sick; enforcement of physical distancing of at least 1 meter.

    2.  

    3. Online Motorcycle Taxis

       

      The issue of whether or not Indonesia’s ubiquitous online motorcycle taxis (known as ojol) should be allowed to continue carrying passengers is of significant importance both to the success of LSSR in containing the spread of Covid-19, and as regards the level of community acceptance of LSSR. The issue arises as the MOH Guidelines referred to in Section 1 above incorporate an express prohibition on the carrying of passengers by online motorcycle taxis in an area that is subject to LSSR (although they are permitted to continue providing delivery services). This prohibition is repeated in the Regulation, despite Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan’s earlier insistence that online motorcycle taxis would be permitted to continue carrying passengers. It has since then transpired that the Minister of Communications issued a regulation on 9 April 2020[7] that expressly permits online motorcycle taxis to carry passengers, subject to a number of obligations, including what seems like a virtually unenforceable obligation to disinfect the vehicle after every use.

       

      In making his decision, the Minister of Communications was no doubt mindful of the enormous number of online motorcycle taxi drivers in Jakarta and the potential for social dislocation, and even disorder, that could arise if they are banned from carrying passengers and thus deprived of income. However, the decision is likely to worry epidemiologists. Thus, it is unlikely that this is the last we will hear on the issue given the speed at which the Covid-19 crisis is currently developing in Indonesia.

    4.  

    5. Restaurants

       

      Restaurants are subject to a range of specific restrictions and obligations. Most importantly, they may no longer provide table service. However, they are permitted to serve takeaway orders placed directly by the customer or via an online food-delivery app or by telephone or other means.

    6.  

    7. Hotels

       

      Hotels are, among other things, required to ensure that guests stay in their rooms, and to provide special facilities for people who are self-isolating. In addition, they should suspend all activities and/or close all facilities that could lead to people congregating together.  Sick people or those with above-normal temperatures or other symptoms of Covid-19 must be prevented from entering hotel premises.

    8.  

    9. Construction

       

      Ongoing construction projects are permitted to continue. However, while the text of the Regulation is not entirely clear, it appears that construction workers must actually be housed on the site and restrictions imposed on their offsite activities and interactions. In this regard, the project owner and/or contractor is required to provide living quarters and a properly equipped clinic, and to fulfill the daily needs of workers on the project site. Further, the health of workers should be regularly checked.

       

      Given the way in which Covid-19 has been spreading through migrant workers’ dormitories in Singapore, the requirement that construction workers must live onsite seems somewhat incongruous.

    10.  

    11. Places of Entertainment

       

      All places of entertainment are required to close.

  10.  

  11. ABNR Commentary

     

    The first impression one gets upon reading the Regulation is that many of the restrictions and obligations it imposes are so sweeping (or vaguely formulated) that it is difficult to envisage how they can possibly be implemented effectively. As a concrete example of this, quite a number of provisions require people who are “sick” (sakit) to be excluded from or denied entry to particular places. However, no definition of sick is provided. Does it only refer to people who are sick with Covid-19 or does it mean that anyone who looks even remotely queasy is likely to be picked out of the queue?

     

    Further, many aspects of the Regulation suffer from a pronounced lack of detail, with the net result that it is often difficult to ascertain whether a particular activity is actually permitted or prohibited.

     

    However, these weaknesses are to a certain extent understandable given that social controls of such a wide-ranging nature have not been imposed in Indonesia since at least the 1940s. Consequently, everyone involved finds themselves very much in unchartered territory.

     

    One thing that is very clear is that the Regulation affords a high level of discretion to the authorities. Thus, in cases where particular activities are not expressly addressed by the Regulation, the question as to whether or not they are permitted will in many cases ultimately depend on the approach or stance adopted by the Jakarta Government. Further flexibility is provided by the authority granted to the Head of the Jakarta Provincial Covid-19 Task Force to issue technical implementation guidelines for the LSSR. Overall, given the speed with which the Covid-19 crisis is evolving, such flexibility may be precisely what is needed at the present time.

 

Contact Us

 

Should you have any queries or require legal advice as to how LSSR could affect your business and on how you can best protect your interests during this time of uncertainty, please contact any of the persons below, call us on +62-21-2505125, or email us at info@abnrlaw.com.

 

Mr. Emir Nurmansyah (enurmansyah@abnrlaw.com)

Mr. Nafis Adwani (nadwani@abnrlaw.com)

Mr. Agus Ahadi Deradjat (aderadjat@abnrlaw.com)

 

[1] See Minister of Health Decree No. HK.01.07/Menkes/239/2020 (Keputusan Menteri Kesehatan No. HK.01.07/Menkes/239/2020)

[2] Jakarta Gubernatorial Regulation No. 33 of 2020 on Large-scale Social Restrictions in Jakarta Special Capital Region (Peraturan Gubernur DKI Jakarta No. 33/2020 Tentang Pembatasan Sosial Berskala Besar di DKI Jakarta)

[3] Government Regulation No. 21 of 2020 on Large-scale Social Distancing to Accelerate the Response to Covid-19 (Peraturan Pemerintah Nomor 21 Tahun 2020 tentang Pembatasan Sosial Berskala Besar dalam rangka Percepatan Penanganan Covid-19).

[4] Peraturan Menteri Kesehatan No. 9/2020 tentang Pedoman Pembatasan Sosial Berskala Besar

[5] The Jakarta LSSR were activated by a separate legal instrument, namely, Jakarta Gubernatorial Decree No. 380 of 2020 on the Activation of LSSR (Keputusan Gubernur Jakarta Nomor 380 Tahun 2020 tentang Pemberlakukan Pelaksanaan PSBB)

[6] Law No. 6 of 2018 on Health Quarantine (Undang-Undang Nomor 6 Tahun 2018 tentang Kekarantinaan Kesehatan)

[7] Minister of Communications Regulation No. PM 18 of 2020 on Transportation Restrictions in the Context of Covid-19 (Peraturan Menteri Perhubungan Nomor 18 Tahun 2020 tentang Pengendalian Transportasi Dalam Rangka Pencegahan Penyebaran Covid-19)

 

  

This edition of ABNR News and the contents hereof are intended solely to provide a general overview, for informational purposes, of selected recent developments in Indonesian law. They do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Accordingly, ABNR accepts no liability of any kind in respect of any statement, opinion, view, error, or omission that may be contained herein. In all circumstances, you are strongly advised to consult a licensed Indonesian legal practitioner before taking any action that could adversely affect your rights and obligations under Indonesian law.