Police said several McDonald’s outlets in Indonesia were forced to close this week after a special “BTS meal”, named for the wildly popular Korean boy band, was crowded with delivery drivers, Those who violated the safe distance measures, the police said.
On Wednesday, the first day when limited edition food was available, there was a rush to order – but due to COVID-19, most were done online. This resulted in swarms of motorized delivery drivers appearing at outlets across Indonesia, with most restaurants unwilling to manage the turnout.
in the capital Jakarta, police said on Wednesday That he had temporarily closed 32 McDonald’s outlets “because they were found to be in violation of health protocols,” which included limiting capacity to 50 percent and avoiding crowds.
The BTS meal contains nine chicken nuggets, two sauces, medium fries and a drink, and comes in a box with a purple logo. Introduced in about 50 other countries, it is available in Indonesia by next month.
But because almost anything related to BTS sparks frenzy, there are concerns that the introduction of the food could draw crowds in some Asian countries where coronavirus cases have risen recently and where vaccination levels are relatively low. Food rollout in Singapore was late last month After the government tightened the rules to do away with the ban on dining in restaurants.
Indonesia, which has one of the highest coronavirus caseloads in Asia, has seen a surge in infections in recent weeks as more people gathered and traveled during Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim holy Ramadan. According to the New York Times database, new daily cases have increased by 26 percent in the past two weeks, and only 4 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated.
Indonesian fans of the Korean band have acknowledged that delivery drivers faced long lines and potential exposure to the coronavirus to bring their BTS food. Online messaging groups have called for customers to reward drivers with lucrative tips. On crowdfunding site Kitabisa, several initiatives are raising money for drivers and their families.
A user named Vanessa Egas asked for donations to reach a goal of 25 million rupees, about $1,750, to “pay the mercy of our brother drivers who stood in line for hours to deliver BTS food.” By Friday, he exceeded that goal And started distributing the funds, according to the website.
In other developments around the world:
Philippines The government said on Friday it has begun easing restrictions on movement in the capital Manila and surrounding provinces, allowing many activities to resume. President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesman Harry Roque announced that indoor non-contact sporting venues such as gyms, fitness studios, skating rinks and racquet sports facilities would be allowed to reopen at about 30 percent of their capacity. He said historical sites and museums would also be allowed to resume operations at a limited capacity, but guided tours would remain restricted. He added that older adults who were fully vaccinated would be allowed to proceed more freely with proof of vaccination.
Jason Gutierrez Contributed reporting.