Jakarta McDonald’s outlet fined 10 million rupiah over public gathering that violated COVID-19 restrictions

JAKARTA: The Jakarta city administration has imposed a 10 million rupiah (US$670) fine on a defunct McDonald’s outlet for violating the city’s social restrictions order.

The outlet in Sarinah shopping centre in Central Jakarta closed its doors on Sunday night (May 10) after nearly 30 years in business. The outlet was Indonesia’s first McDonald’s restaurant.

At least 300 people flocked to the restaurant to watch employees close the shop for the last time.

The presence of the crowd had allegedly violated Jakarta’s large-scale social restrictions, put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19. Under the restrictions order, a gathering of more than five people is prohibited.

In a statement on Thursday, the Jakarta Public Order Agency said the outlet’s management was summoned for questioning earlier in the day.

“During the questioning, the Jakarta Public Order Agency explained how the management has been negligent in relation to the social restrictions order,” said the statement.  

The McDonald’s outlet, the agency continued, “admitted their negligence” by not taking preventive measures to stop a large crowd from gathering.

“In light of this incident, going forward we hope that businesses and people in Jakarta would be more disciplined in obeying the social restrictions order,” the agency said. 

READ: Masks and no touching: Indonesia aims to keep traditional markets alive amid COVID-19 pandemic

Despite claiming that the gathering was unplanned and not initiated by the restaurant, McDonald’s Indonesia had broadcast the outlet’s closure live on its Instagram account. 

Employees were seen bowing to the cheering crowd after the restaurant was closed. 

The outlet was closed because the state-owned shopping centre it was located in would undergo renovation starting next month.

The shopping centre is also adjusting its retail mix in favour of Indonesian franchises as well as small and medium enterprises when the renovation is completed in 2021.

The police had earlier said that they will not be fining the people who attended the Sunday event.

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