Omicron in Jakarta will determine the travel and social restriction regulation in Indonesia. The continuous rise of infection in Jakarta has opted the Government to try and control the spread. Despite the reportedly mild syndrome, the city has increased its restrictions level. To curb the virus spread, the Government implements a 50% capacity regulation for restuarants and other public places.
According to a local newspaper, Kompas, the regulation will change on the 24th of January 2022. Nonetheless, the threat of tightening social restrictions may negatively impact the local business. The past few months have been a slow recovery period for businesses that managed to stay afloat despite the pandemic. Movie theatres and shopping malls have barely opened, and the number of customers in a restaurant has barely reached a pre-pandemic stage.
Omicron in Jakarta
Omicron in Jakarta wasn’t initially a concern as the city has managed to curb the infection number to under a hundred. Nonetheless, the short period of normalcy may end with the rising number of international travellers. Unlike Indonesia that implements a strict health protocol, some other nations do not follow a strict health protocol. Hence, there is a large number of infections. Therefore, many Indonesian travellers contracts the Omicron virus from abroad and bring it back home.
According to CNN, the total number of cases in Jakarta has reached 825 infected people. From this large number, 582 people got infected from abroad. The rest are locally transmitted. Despite the relatively mild symptoms, the Government seem to be taking the prevention approach. If the Government opts for a tight social lockdown, it would be disadvantageous for retail businesses.
With the threat of lockdown looming on the local economy, it is natural for entrepreneurs to worry. In the past year, the outbreak of the Delta variant has forced the Government to put tight restrictions. Public places and offices are forced to close as employees works from home. Furthermore, with no government subsidies, many businesses struggle to survive. The situation has caused numerous businesses to close down.
Impacts on Local Business
Certain businesses may have felt the full force of social restrictions. For instance, retail companies may lose potential customers from window shoppers as people stay at home. Even though one may argue that online shopping exists, the opportunity for the salesperson to pitch and persuade potential clients becomes harder. Furthermore, the buying behaviour of society also changed. With a harsher economic environment, people tend to save more than spend.
Another type of business that may also be at a disadvantage is property business. Property owners have to lower their selling price to meet the buying capacity of the market. As most people are saving for the rainy days, only large corporates can acquire property. Property owners will find it hard to get big profits from the sales. Furthermore, properties like apartments will find it hard to find potential renters. People who rent in Jakarta will probably return to their homes to reduce their living expenses as work is online. Thus, should lockdown be placed, the property business may suffer badly.
The service industry will also experience a decline in interest. Because most service industries rely on a human to human contact, people will be less inclined to acquire the service to reduce infection risk. Due to the nature of the covid-19 spread, with fear of omicron in Jakarta, most people would adhere to using services that require human contact. Even though certain businesses might shift their operations to an internet-based system, some services like hotels cannot.
To follow the health protocol and ensure limited person to person contact, it is recommendable for businesses to use a virtual office service. MESO Virtual office is located at APL Tower West Jakarta. For more information, visit www.meso.co.id or contact us at 0812 1315 4189 (Whatsapp).