Jakartans Divided as Face Mask Mandate Gets Relaxed

18 May 2022 23:05 WIB

Residents walk to a TransJakarta bus stop on Jl. Jenderal Sudirman in Jakarta, Monday, November 15, 2021. The central government is still looking into proper procedures on how to handle COVID-19 pandemic ahead of Christmas and New Year holidays. ANTARA/Dhemas Reviyanto

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The latest Covid-19 restriction that was recently loosened by President Joko Widodo, or Jokowi, is the lifting of the face mask mandate for outdoor activities. However, this received mixed responses from residents of the capital city of Jakarta. 

Based on Tempo’s observation in the area of Sarinah, Central Jakarta, on Wednesday noon, many people were still wearing masks as they continued with their daily routines. An office worker we asked was Naura (25) who decided to mask up for health reasons. 

“I am used to wearing my face mask anywhere I go, especially considering the pandemic has not fully ended,” said Naura in the Sarinah area on May 18.

Another Jakarta resident, Manda (29), said that the main reason she continues to wear a mask in outdoor areas is due to fear. "I’m still scared to not wear a mask outdoors, I am also a bit shy, which is why I am used to wearing masks,” she said. 

This was echoed by Wati (30) who said to Tempo that wearing a face mask has become an ordinary occurrence and that it no longer feels like a hindrance. “I’ve just gotten used to it. In crowded public spaces, we should continue to be careful.”

However, there are also others who welcome the no-mask policy in open spaces with enthusiasm, such came from Ari (35) who sells coffee on a bicycle on a daily basis. The business that forces him to cycle through city streets made him thankful for the relaxed health restriction policy. 

“It’s already hard enough to breathe with a mask. It’s good that Pak Jokowi introduced the no mask policy,” he said. 

The face mask-free mandate is officially in effect as of today and is included in a transition phase implemented for the next six months. 

Read: No Mask in Open Space Policy A 'Good Sign', Jakarta Deputy Gov Says

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ANNISA APRILIYANI | TD 

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