Jakarta to reopen cinemas despite another daily high in new COVID-19 cases

Jakarta to reopen cinemas despite another daily high in new COVID-19 cases

FILE PHOTO:  Firefighters wearing protective suits spray disinfectant at National Monument area to
FILE PHOTO: Firefighters wearing protective suits spray disinfectant at the National Monument area to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Jakarta, Indonesia June 17, 2020, in this photo taken by Antara Foto/Wahyu Putro/via REUTERS/File Photo

JAKARTA: Indonesia’s capital Jakarta has allowed cinemas to reopen this week, even as it hit a record high of 357 new daily COVID-19 cases on Wednesday (Jul 8).

Jakarta’s head of tourism and creative economy Cucu Ahmad Kurnia said the decision was made after the cinema industry vowed to implement proper health measures. 

Cinemas will reopen at half capacity with physical distancing protocols in place, he said, adding that theatres will also be disinfected after every show.

“They will reopen in about two or three weeks because they need to prepare the movies,” Mr Kurnia told CNA.

Separately, Jakarta is also planning to introduce drive-in entertainment venues where patrons can watch movies, cultural shows and sports matches from their cars, he added.

READ: Cycling fever hits as Jakarta residents avoid congestion, public transport​​​​​​​

Cinemas in Jakarta have been shut for about three months since its partial lockdown, known as the large-scale social restrictions, was enforced. 

The head of the Indonesian Cinema Entrepreneurs Association Djonny Syafruddin welcomed the government's decision to allow cinemas to reopen.

He said that cinema operators planned to start showing movies on Jul 29 as the capital is still in a transition period of its partial lockdown until at least Jul 16.

“We will discuss the specific protocols on Friday, Jul 10, with representatives from the Jakarta and central government,” Mr Syafruddin told CNA.

Jakarta has a total of 13,211 COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday. The capital was Indonesia's epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic, until East Java emerged as the most affected province. 

Indonesia also reported its biggest single-day increase of COVID-19 infections on Wednesday with 1,853 new cases, bringing the total number to 68,079.

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Source: CNA/ks

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