Indonesia prepares ‘exit strategies’ to reopen parts of economy

  • Indonesia is considering plans for a phased resumption of businesses in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy from as early as 1 Jun 20, with the easing of restrictions aimed at curbing the novel coronavirus, government documents showed.
  • There is mounting concern about the deepening economic impact of restrictions with at least 2 million people losing their jobs in the past six weeks and poverty increasing.
  • Officials at the Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs have looked at a five-phase plan to reopen some cities under strict health protocols, including wearing masks and social distancing, a document reviewed by Reuters showed.
  • Shopping malls could reopen on 8 Jun 20, with schools set to restart a week later, but only if new cases fall and testing targets are met, according to the plan set out in the document.
  • Beauty salons, cinemas and sport centres may be allowed to operate by 15 Jun 20, with full reopening seen at the end of Jul 20 or early Aug 20.
  • Raden Pardede, an adviser to the ministry who wrote the document, said it had not been approved and remained a proposal.
  • The proposals may still be modified as other ministries, and the task force dealing with virus response, need to agree on the course for reopening, said Raden.
  • Asked about timelines suggested in the document, Indonesia’s chief economic minister Airlangga Hartarto said the government was reviewing progress in close coordination with the disaster mitigation agency to prepare health protocols for each sector to comply with.

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