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Image: Deputy Governor of Bali Cok Ace at Puputan Badung Field. FB Pemprov Bali.

The new law for people not wearing masks, which cops a direct Rp 100k fine, came into effect yesterday. According to Tribun Bali, police netted dozens of locals and foreigners who were caught in road blocks that simultaneously sprang up throughout Bali, yesterday, Monday (7/9/2020).

In Badung, the road blocks yesterday were centered in South Kuta, in front of the GWK Cultural Park and a number of points such as Kampial Market and Jimbaran Beach.

According to Tribun Bali reporters, dozens of the residents who were netted generally had masks with them, but weren’t wearing them on both motorbikes and in cars when stopped by police.

There were also residents who did not carry any identity cards and did not bring money to pay the fine of Rp. 100 thousand.

“Indeed, there were some who did not carry any money and their identity cards are temporarily detained. We’ll give them time to pay the fine. If we don’t have masks with them at all, we give them one to continue on their way,” said Head of Police Headquarters PP Badung, I Gst Agung Ketut Suryanegara.

Eight foreigners were also stopped and fined in the area.

An American foreigner, Brian, admitted that he forgot to bring a mask because he was in a rush.

“I forgot, I didn’t wear a mask from home earlier. Sorry, sorry,” said Brian as he handed over Rp 100k.

We are not selective in enforcing the discipline of wearing masks, be it locals or foreigners. We also take action against the foreigners,” said Suryanegara. He also said that Immigration is ready to deport foreigners that aren’t prepared to wear masks or pay the fine.

The concern now is that positive cases of Covid-19 in Bali are still increasing.

According to the Deputy Governor of Bali, Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati, or Cok Ace, this increase is not only due to the opening of Bali to domestic tourists.

However, it is also influenced by the movement of local people around the island, which is also very high.

“We can see the movement of local people towards Kintamani or Bedugul tourism sites (for example),” said Cok Ace when leading a rally for the implementation of the Bali Governor Regulation Number 46 in regard to wearing masks at Puputan Badung Field on Monday.

According to the deputy governor, the government has assessed that the public awareness of wearing masks has also decreased since the opening of tourist attractions for local and domestic tourists since last July 2020.

“And while most young people (who do not wear masks) have good immunity, and might not appear to be infected, can pass it on to their parents, or grandparents when they go home without realizing it. This is why most cases now are household transmissions,” said Cok Ace.

He also said that the Regulation Number 46 was an effort to suppress the transmission of Covid-19 on the Island of the Gods and reminded people that if cases continued to increase there would be further controls that no one wants, but may be necessary.

In his remarks at the rally, Deputy Governor Cok Ace said that this regulation was a follow-up to Presidential Instruction Number 6 of 2020 concerning Improving Discipline and Law Enforcement of Health Protocols in the Prevention and Control of Coronavirus Disease 2019.

“With this regulation on masks, we hope to increase the participation of all parties to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 and protect each other and prevent new cases from appearing in community activities or government agencies,” he said.