West Java to fine residents who do not wear face masks in public

thejakartapost.com Dipublikasikan 09.12, 14/07/2020 • The Jakarta Post
An employee wearing a protective mask and hair cap peels off a face mask design in Jakarta on June 23.
An employee wearing a protective mask and hair cap peels off a face mask design in Jakarta on June 23.

The West Java administration has decided to impose stricter measures against residents who do not comply with COVID-19 protocols in public.

West Java COVID-19 task force chief Ridwan Kamil, who is also the province's governor, said in a written statement received by The Jakarta Post on Tuesday that those who did not wear face masks in public places would be slapped with a fine of Rp 100,000 (US$6.95) to Rp 150,000 or forced to do community service.

“We will discipline them. Since we have already educated the people and reprimanded those who violated the health protocols, we have already entered the third phase of our commitment, which is to discipline those who break the rules with fines,” Ridwan said.

The fine will come into effect on July 27. As of now, Ridwan said that his administration was working on a gubernatorial decree that outlined the new policy.

“We will finish the introduction process in 14 days. Therefore, during that time period, we will give an opportunity for offices and other institutions to instruct their workers to wear face masks,” he said.

Read also: Cases surge by record 2,657 after West Java military academy outbreak

Ridwan added that he issued the new policy to raise awareness about health protocols in public spaces, as public compliance was important in preventing COVID-19 from spreading.

“There won’t be any need to fine people as long as they’re disciplined. However, since reports from the regional police and our daily observations show that many people are still not wearing face masks in public places, this is the route that we have chosen,” Ridwan said.

As of Tuesday, West Java recorded 84 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 5,235. With zero new deaths, COVID-19 fatalities remain at 186.

Separately, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said that the government was currently preparing a policy to punish people who failed to meet health protocols to prevent COVID-19 from spreading.

“There will be a punishment since what we are facing right now is people who don’t comply with the health protocols to prevent COVID-19,” he said. 

Jokowi explained that the punishment could be implemented in various forms, such as fines or social service. 

“We are still in the discussion process. I believe that things will be different if we start implementing punishments [for those who disobey protocols],” he said.

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