Jakarta to reopen cinemas even as virus cases soar

JAKARTA • Indonesia will soon allow movie theatres in capital Jakarta to reopen after five months as authorities look beyond rising number of infections to focus on steps to revive an economy hobbled by the coronavirus outbreak.

Movie halls will be allowed to operate with strict virus protocols such as compulsory use of face masks, and entry will be limited to moviegoers in the age group of 12 to 60, according to Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan.

Total infections in the city of more than 10 million people jumped to nearly 35,000 as of Tuesday, the highest number of cases among Indonesia’s 34 provinces. Infections have soared from 11,276 at the end of June after the city administration began easing social distancing rules, data from the provincial government show.

Jakarta’s administration is due to review some other social distancing rules under a so-called transition phase scheduled to last until today. Anies didn’t say if his administration will extend the curbs.

The world’s fourth-most populous nation remains under the grip of the pandemic with the number of cases nationwide jumping nearly six-fold to 157,859 since the end of May with more than 6,800 people succumbing to the deadly disease. — Bloomberg