Bali enforces fines on people who don’t wear face masks

In July, President Joko Widodo hinted at the possibility of imposing sanctions on COVID-19 protocol breakers. On Wednesday, August 26, Governor Wayan Koster announced that Bali will start to enforce fines of Rp. 100,000 (~USD6.83) to individuals who do not wear face masks in public.

The implementation of this rule is hoped to curb the spread of the virus in Bali as the island begins to restart its economy by welcoming domestic tourists.

COVID-19 protocol breakers in Bali will have to pay up

Bali face mask fines - Policeman puts a mask on a woman
A policeman wearing a traditional Balinese mask puts a face mask on a woman in Bali
Image credit: Liputan6

Governor Wayan Koster has officially announced that Bali will soon penalize all locals and visitors who do not have a face mask on in public. Individuals who leave their homes without a face mask have to pay a fine of Rp. 100,000 (~USD6.83), as reported by Kompas.

Individuals won’t be the only ones who can face charges, as businesses who do not comply with health and hygiene guidelines will also have to pay a fine which amounts to Rp. 1,000,000 (~USD68.30)

Both individuals and businesses who are caught breaking the COVID-19 protocols will be given a fine slip, which they can either pay on the spot or through bank transfer. 

However, the governor said that the sanctions won’t be immediately enforced as it can take up to two weeks to properly inform locals about the changes.

Other forms of sanctions in Bali

Bali face mask fines - Local authorities
Image credit: The Bali Sun

In addition to financial sanctions, individuals and businesses may also face other forms of “punishment.” Villages can enforce their own sanctions – locally referred to as awig-awig – to residents who do not wear the required PPE in public spaces.

Bali face mask fines - Man doing push-ups
Image credit: The Bali Sun

Other than that, back in April, motorcyclists who got caught not wearing face masks in Bali were told to do push-ups by authorities. While they’re definitely cheaper than a fine, you’d have to deal with the shame of doing them in public.

Meanwhile, in Ubud, protocol breakers were asked to buy a 1 KG bag of rice for local residents hit hard by the pandemic – a creative way of making the best out of a bad situation. It’s possible that these forms of non-monetary sanctions will make a comeback.

Make sure you wear a mask if you are in Bali

It’s clearly best to wear a mask to slow down the transmission of the coronavirus regardless of the sanctions. Rp. 100,000 is no small amount of money – especially during these tough times – but it shouldn’t be the main reason to put on a mask. Let’s do so to keep everyone safe, including yourself.

More Bali news:

Cover image adapted from: CNBC Indonesia

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