The first official day of the Restrictions on People’s Activities (PKM) protocol in Denpasar appears to have produced a few hiccups, as photos circulating on social media show packed crowds queuing to meet the new requirements.

Officials in Bali have made it a point to differentiate between PKM and the central government’s Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB), highlighting that all access to Denpasar will remain open though with a number of restrictions in place. Denpasar is the first region in the province to apply such a measure, details of which are laid out in a Mayoral Regulation. 

The regulation covers a number of aspects, including instructions for students to study at home, restrictions on work and religious activities, as well as those in public settings such as traditional markets. In addition, it also lays out restrictions on transportations and people’s movements. 

Citizens who are caught violating these rules will be given administrative sanctions, such as a written warning or temporary closure of business, and traditional sanctions according to their respective traditional villages. 

For the past week, netizens in Bali have taken to social media to express their concerns about PKM, most of whom felt that officials have not done enough in raising public awareness about the new regulations. Several users have taken to create alternatives to the PKM acronym in Indonesian, with what was perceived as being more accurate to the real situation, as expressed in these posts:  

Hari pertama PKM(Peningkatan Kerumunan Massa) posko penatih

— IG: leakbali_official (@leakBALI_) May 15, 2020

“First day of PKM (Increasing Mass Crowd) [at] Penatih Post.” 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by BALI_UNDERCOVER ? (@jeg.bali) on

“PKM: Restrictions on People’s Activities. Reality: Assembling Mass Crowds.”

The initial phase of PKM in Denpasar will be implemented until May 30, continued with another phase that is scheduled until June 14, with officials expected to evaluate the measure on a weekly basis.

A number of monitoring posts have been set up across the provincial capital, wherein officials and authorities will reportedly instruct those without face masks and without a clear purpose to turn back around. 

“We will ask those without masks to turn around, check cars full of passengers, and as instructed: to check where they came from and where they are headed, if they bring with them a letter of assignment we will let them pass,” Padma Dharma, an official with the Transportation Agency in Denpasar, said.

Traffic jams seem inevitable in some areas, as vehicles are requested to pull up and present their identification and accompanying letter, which is now required. In addition, the requirement of an official statement, which must either be issued by an individual’s employer or their village’s COVID-19 task force, appears to have also resulted in crowds and queues this morning.

“Info from Kesiman residents: The morning situation due to PKM, good intention to RESTRICT PEOPLE’S ACTIVITIES, but in the end masses of people went to the village office to request for statements, which makes [the effort] futile, everything is going normal as usual, and no PKM.”

As of today, Bali has recorded 343 COVID-19 cases, 65 of which are accounted to Denpasar. 

Read more news and updates from Bali here.

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