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In a perfect illustration of relaxed attitudes towards mask wearing in Bali, dozens of people were caught without their masks at a random checkpoint in Denpasar today, with authorities collecting about IDR2.2 million in fines in an hour. 

The Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) in Denpasar said his team caught 40 mask rule violators during that relatively short period, 22 of whom were subject to IDR100,000 (US$7) fines each. 

Bali has implemented a mandatory mask rule since last September, with violators subject to either fines or other forms of punishments. This time around, the remaining 18 from the group were either subjected to push-ups, asked to recite the Pancasila, or sing the national anthem. 

The chief of Satpol PP Denpasar, I Dewa Gede Anom Sayoga, said that the violators had given a variety of excuses when caught. 

“They said they forgot their masks, didn’t want to use masks any longer because it suffocates them, while others said that the virus didn’t exist any more,” Sayoga said. 

“This random check isn’t meant to punish the public, but to ask everyone to be disciplined and [help] prevent COVID-19 transmissions. It’s better to prevent than treat an illness,” he added. 

Read more news and updates from Bali here.

This article, 40 mask rule violators caught in Denpasar within 1 hour, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia’s leading alternative media company.

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