Indonesia Eyes End of COVID Restrictions Next Year

Diana Mariska
Public activity in Jalan Sudirman, Central Jakarta. (Photo: Winanto)
Public activity in Jalan Sudirman, Central Jakarta. (Photo: Winanto) - Indonesia’s Presiden Joko Widodo has suggested that his administration would lift COVID-19 restrictions in the country, but he has yet to give a definitive timeline as relevant studies and research are still underway.

The Indonesian and local governments have been imposing the community activities restrictions (locally known as PPKM) in provinces across the country during the pandemic. However, last week, President Widodo revealed that main COVID-related restrictions could end soon.

“For today and yesterday, our daily confirmed cases were at 1,200, and it’s possible that by the end of the year we will declare an end to … PPKM," Jokowi said on December 21, as reported by

Despite a worrying spike triggered by the spread of Omicron variant, the president said Indonesia has gradually managed to handle the pandemic and has been returning to normalcy.

Therefore, Jokowi said he would open to accepting suggestions from the Ministry of Health and Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs on the lifting of restrictions.

"Therefore, I can start preparing a presidential decree on termination of PPKM. We’re hoping that it can be finalized within these weeks," he said.

However, speaking to the press a few days later, the Indonesian leader said he had yet to receive the necessary study results that would help him decide whether to lift PPKM at the start of 2023 or not.

“[Studies related to] PPKM have yet to be on my desk,” he said on Monday, December 26. “Since this is related to serological survey and other studies, I want everything to be detailed. We can’t make a mistake in deciding this.”

According to him, a population’s immunity can be deemed strong if it reaches at least 90 percent positivity in the serological survey. And since COVID continues to be a big problem in other parts of the world, such as China, Jokowi deemed it key that Indonesia scores a positive result first before starting to live side-by-side with COVID—without any borders.

"We’re waiting for study from the Ministry of Health as well as epidemiologists, so we can decide the right thing later," he concluded.

Tag # joko widodo # indonesia covid # indonesia restrictions # indonesia lifts restrictions # ppkm

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