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Appreciate the Government’s Decision to Allow Mask Removal in Open Areas

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By: Aprilia Ambarwati)*

President Jokowi has announced that people may not wear masks on condition that they are active in open spaces and rarely have people. This easing deserves to be appreciated as the government’s success in controlling the Covid-19 transmission rate is getting better.

Since the beginning of the 2020 pandemic, all Indonesian citizens are required to comply with the Health Protocol and most importantly, wear masks. Even when Covid-19 cases are at their highest, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends wearing a double mask. The community finally bought up both disposable masks and cloth masks.

However, this regulation changed when President Jokowi on May 17, 2022 announced that the public may not wear masks, provided that they are active in open areas and are not crowded with people. In a sense, when jogging on a deserted beach or walking in housing after dawn, it is okay not to wear a mask at all.

President Jokowi’s statement should be appreciated because the permit to remove the mask is only in open and quiet areas, so that the air circulation is good and there will be no Corona transmission. Then, when the mask can be removed, it shows good Corona control. Moreover, for sports sessions, wearing a mask actually suffocates the chest because it cannot breathe freely.

Indonesia follows other countries, namely Japan, Sweden, and others who have allowed their people not to wear masks in public areas. The release of masks signifies that the global pandemic will soon end and will transition to an endemic phase. The reason is because the number of Corona patients in Indonesia continues to decline, as of May 17, 2022 there are only 275 people infected.

DPR RI member Luqman Hakim appreciated the government’s policy of allowing people not to wear masks in open spaces. This policy shows the government’s expertise in controlling the spread of Corona. The government remains consistent, systematic, and measurable in overcoming the pandemic in Indonesia. The government also has thorough preparation and is not in a hurry, and prioritizes the health of the people.

Luqman continued, the policy to be allowed to take off masks also shows the community’s obedience to government rules during the pandemic. In a sense, the majority of the people obey health protocols and wear masks with discipline so as to reduce the transmission of Corona.

The community is the front line in controlling Covid-19 cases in Indonesia. Public obedience to government regulations is the key to controlling the Covid-19 pandemic, because without this, any ideal rule will not produce results. Therefore, the policy of easing the use of masks in public places due to the decline in Covid-19 cases is something to be grateful for.

But on the other hand, the public also needs to pay close attention to the announcement from President Jokowi. It is permissible not to wear a mask only in open and quiet areas. If there is an open area such as a football field but it is crowded with people, it is mandatory to wear a mask. The reason is that it is very difficult to maintain a distance so that masks can protect the body from Corona transmission.

In addition, people who are active indoors are also required to wear masks because there are more people than outside. In a sense, when you are in the office, bank, or class, you still have to wear a mask. The teachers also reminded students to keep wearing masks at school. Meanwhile, students who have colds, coughs, and other diseases must also wear masks.

When the government decides to allow masks to be removed, it deserves appreciation. With this policy in place, activities will gradually return to normal and the economic recovery can run optimally.

)* The author is a Contributor of Pertiwi Institute

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