Indonesia easing coronavirus restrictions

Indonesia is easing its restrictions on economic activities on Tuesday, following a decrease in new cases of the coronavirus.

Indonesia was recording more than 50,000 new cases per day at its peak in July, due to the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant. Its medical system was under severe strain, and the country introduced strict restrictions for some areas, including the capital Jakarta.

The partial reopening is starting after the number of new daily cases dropped to 9,604 on Monday, falling below 10,000 for the first time in about two months. The number of deaths was 842, dropping below 1,000 for the first time in about a month.

President Joko Widodo said on Monday that the coronavirus alert level would be lowered from the highest to the second highest on a the four-tier scale in cities such as Jakarta and Surabaya.

Indoor dining at some restaurants is starting with limited capacities. Export businesses of major industries are now allowed to resume full operation.

The government is also calling on people to continue measures to reduce infection risks, saying the possibility of a resurgence in infections cannot be ruled out.