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Life in Jakarta’s COVID-19 ‘Transition’ Era

Indonesia’s capital begins reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic.

By Agoes Rudianto for
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Life in Jakarta’s COVID-19 ‘Transition’ Era

A man wearing a cloth mask walks near a mural that reads “New Normal New Problem” in Jakarta.

Credit: Agoes Rudianto
Life in Jakarta’s COVID-19 ‘Transition’ Era

The reopening of places of worship after large-scale social restrictions saw Muslims flock to the mosque for Friday prayers. Health protocols continue to be applied by checking the body temperature of every person who enters the mosque.

Credit: Agoes Rudianto
Life in Jakarta’s COVID-19 ‘Transition’ Era

In the mosque area, everyone is required to wear a mask.

Credit: Agoes Rudianto
Life in Jakarta’s COVID-19 ‘Transition’ Era

Officers spray sanitizer into the hands of every mosque visitor.

Credit: Agoes Rudianto
Life in Jakarta’s COVID-19 ‘Transition’ Era

Physical distancing is now in effect for Friday prayers, a departure from custom.

Credit: Agoes Rudianto
Life in Jakarta’s COVID-19 ‘Transition’ Era

Firefighters spray disinfectant liquid in preparation for opening a business and shopping center.

Credit: Agoes Rudianto
Life in Jakarta’s COVID-19 ‘Transition’ Era

Sellers stand behind plastic dividers installed in store windows to avoid transmission of the virus.

Credit: Agoes Rudianto
Life in Jakarta’s COVID-19 ‘Transition’ Era

Food vendors wear face shields while working in a wet market.

Credit: Agoes Rudianto
Life in Jakarta’s COVID-19 ‘Transition’ Era

The Indonesian national army is deployed to various public facilities to oversee the implementation of the new orders. They are tasked with reminding passengers to wear masks and keep a distance from each other.

Credit: Agoes Rudianto
Life in Jakarta’s COVID-19 ‘Transition’ Era

A sign on the floor helps train passengers keep their distance while in line.

Credit: Agoes Rudianto
Life in Jakarta’s COVID-19 ‘Transition’ Era

Passengers on a Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) train that currently operates with a maximum of 50 percent capacity.

Credit: Agoes Rudianto
Life in Jakarta’s COVID-19 ‘Transition’ Era

A passenger sits between two seats with prohibited signs, an attempt to keep distance between passengers.

Credit: Agoes Rudianto
Life in Jakarta’s COVID-19 ‘Transition’ Era

The atmosphere in a restaurant on the first day of the reopening.

Credit: Agoes Rudianto
Life in Jakarta’s COVID-19 ‘Transition’ Era

Restaurant employees wearing face shields deliver food ordered by consumers.

Credit: Agoes Rudianto
Life in Jakarta’s COVID-19 ‘Transition’ Era

The “transition” stage might be extended if the number of of COVID-19 cases in Jakarta does not decrease — or even worsens.

Credit: Agoes Rudianto

Of Indonesia’s 34 provinces, Jakarta is one of the regions with the highest COVID-19 transmission rates so far.

The local government issued a large-scale policy of social restrictions starting from April 10 to curb the spread of COVID-19. The regulations closed a number of public facilities, including offices, schools, houses of worship, and business centers. Most workers were forced to work from home — if they still had jobs at all.

After nearly three months of restrictions, the government adopted new orders for life in the capital. Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said that he chose to name this new stage the “transition era” rather than the new normal, in an attempt to sound more familiar to people.

Anies said the word “transition” indicates that the efforts to tackle the spread of COVID-19 are not over. The transition phase is supposed to be a path to a safe, healthy and productive society, like the national government policies implementing a new normal.

In the transition period, Jakarta residents can already carry out social and economic activities even though there are a number of restrictions and conditions that must be met. Those who leave the house are encouraged to continue implementing health protocols, to reduce the risk of contracting the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Various public facilities and transportation operations are gradually reopening. Houses of worship and outdoor sports facilities opened on June 5. Offices, independent restaurants, museums, shops and retail outlets, and vehicle repair shops followed suit. Online two-wheeled transportation services such as Grab and Gojek are allowed to pick up passengers starting from June 8.

Agoes Rudianto is a Jakarta-based independent photographer.