Maskless foreigners in Bali punished with push-ups

Above: A foreigner in Bali doing squats as punishment for not wearing a face mask or for wearing it improperly. Left: A man doing push-ups for a similar offence. PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
A man doing push-ups for a similar offence.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

DENPASAR (Indonesia) • Foreigners caught not wearing face masks on the Indonesian resort island of Bali are being subjected to an unusual punishment: Push-ups.

Video footage circulating on social media this week shows foreigners in T-shirts and shorts being made to do the exercise in sweltering tropical heat as masked security officials stand over them.

Bali authorities made wearing a face mask in public mandatory last year as Indonesia battled a raging Covid-19 outbreak.

However, scores of foreigners have recently been caught without face masks, said security official Gusti Agung Ketut Suryanegara.

More than 70 people paid a fine of 100,000 rupiah (S$9.45), but about 30 others said they did not have the cash. Instead, they were ordered to do push-ups.

Those not carrying a mask had to do up to 50, while those who were wearing one improperly were punished with 15.

"At first, they would claim that they didn't know about the regulation," said Mr Suryanegara.

"Then, they said they forgot or that the mask was wet or damaged."

Some Indonesians on the island, which is a pocket of Hinduism in the world's most populous Muslim-majority country, have also been hit with the unusual punishment.

Bali's authorities warned that foreigners who break Covid-19 regulations could be thrown out of the country, although so far, there have been no reports of anyone being deported for failing to wear a mask.

The island, which has been hammered by the coronavirus pandemic, remains officially closed to overseas tourists but is home to many long-term residents from abroad.

 AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
A foreigner in Bali doing squats as punishment for not wearing a face mask or for wearing it improperly. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Foreigners living elsewhere in Indonesia can still visit Bali.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 21, 2021, with the headline 'Maskless foreigners in Bali punished with push-ups'. Subscribe