Jakarta – Visit Wonderful Indonesia (VIWI) Board, an umbrella organization for 18 tourism associations, has asked Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan not to extend public restrictions aimed at bringing down coronavirus infections, which are slated to end on Nov. 22.
VIWI Board chairman Hariyadi B. Sukamdani said the transitional large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) were not effective in containing the spread of COVID-19. He noted that there had been many violations of health protocols during the transitional period and the government had failed to respond to that.
"That being said, we want the Jakarta governor to end the transitional PSBB," he said on Monday, as reported by antaranews.com.
Hariyadi said that, if the transitional PSBB were lifted, all activities would return to normal. "That means there will be no more limitations in capacity and operational hours [of businesses]," he explained.
Hariyadi went on to say that the tourist industry had been complying with the so-called "new normal" protocols and that the board was committed to complying with the 3M rules: menggunakan masker (mask-wearing), mencuci tangan (hand-washing) and menjaga jarak (physical distancing) in an attempt to protect consumers from the spread of COVID-19.
"We are ready [to comply] with the health and safety protocols," he said, adding that all tourism stakeholders, such as hotels, restaurants, shopping malls as well as travel agents, had anticipated all possible scenarios regarding COVID-19 transmission.
A recent survey by pollster Indikator Politik Indonesia shows that most residents want the government to end the PSBB so as to allow for unrestricted economic activity.
A survey on COVID-19 mitigation related to economic interest and health, conducted from Sept. 24 to Sept. 30 and involving 1,200 respondents in each of the country's 34 provinces, showed that 55 percent of respondents wanted the PSBB policy to be stopped to support the economy.
Meanwhile, 39 percent of the respondents wanted the PSBB to be continued in order to tackle coronavirus transmission, the pollster's executive director, Burhanuddin Muhtadi, said.
In addition to VIMI Board, the Indonesian Tour and Travel Agency Association (ASITA) also urged the Jakarta administration to stop the transitional PSBB.
ASITA deputy head Budijanto Arijansjah was quoted by Bisnis.com as saying that it was necessary to end the transitional PSBB, as travel agents could only survive until the end of this year.
He added that travel agents were highly dependent on government regulations and said the government seemed not to have a clear direction on what could or could not be done during the PSBB and when it was going to end.
Budijanto said two things were necessary if the PSBB were lifted, namely the community's compliance with health protocols and government supervision of health protocols without having to impose PSBB. (jes)