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An online petition is picking up steam urging the government to scrap a rule requiring people to be vaccinated to be able to enter malls.

Shopping malls in Jakarta and around Indonesia have been reopening in recent weeks following Indonesia’s deadliest COVID-19 wave in July and August. Under the government’s Enforcement of Restrictions on Public Activities (PPKM) protocol, visitors to malls must have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and in possession of a digital vaccine certificate in the test and trace app PeduliLindungi.

Related — Care not, protect not: People with COVID-19 are trying to enter malls by the thousands, according to PeduliLindungi

As of this afternoon, more than 25,000 people have signed an online petition on Change.org urging the government to ditch what they call an unfair requirement — not necessarily due to anti-vax sentiments, but more about the perceived failure in the part of the government in catering to those who can’t get the jab for medical reasons.

“If this rule continues to be enforced, then what happens to those who don’t meet vaccine requirements but they get the jab anyway to meet administrative requirements? Who will be held responsible if something bad happens post-vaccination?” a passage in the petition reads.

While one might suggest to the unvaccinated to avoid malls altogether, doing so would likely underestimate Indonesians’ love for — nay, dependence on — shopping malls.

But that is the line the Health Ministry is taking in its response to the petition.

“Personally, I find that it’s regrettable [that thousands have signed the petition]. I don’t think [not being able to go to the mall] is a burden,”the ministry’s acting director general for disease control and prevention, Maxi Rein Rondonuwu said yesterday.

Maxi stressed that the rules have been put in place to protect citizens and not to discriminate towards anybody. He said the ministry would take onboard criticism such as uneven vaccine distribution and would do everything in its power to fix that, but the vaccine requirement for malls is here to stay.

This article, Thousands reject vax requirement to enter shopping malls in petition, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia’s leading alternative media company.

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