Tuesday, June 22, 2021

‘BTS Meal’ frenzy forces some McDonald’s stores in Indonesia to close

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Several McDonald’s stores in Indonesia were forced to close this week after a special “BTS meal,” named for the popular Korean boy band, drew crowds of delivery drivers who violated safe distancing measures, the agency said. policeman.

On Wednesday, the first day the limited-edition food was available, a flood of orders were placed, but due to Covid-19, most were placed online. That resulted in flocks of motorcycle delivery drivers showing up at Indonesian outlets, and most restaurants were unprepared to manage participation.

In Jakarta, the capital, the police said Wednesday that 32 McDonald’s stores had temporarily closed “because they were found to have violated health protocols,” including limiting capacity to 50 percent and avoiding crowds.

The BTS meal consists of nine chicken nuggets, two dips, medium fries, and a drink, and comes in a box with a purple logo. Introduced in nearly 50 more countries, it is available in Indonesia until next month.

But because almost everything about BTS causes a frenzy, there have been concerns that the introduction of the food could draw crowds in some Asian countries where coronavirus cases have recently risen and where vaccination levels remain relatively low. Singapore food launch what was delayed last month after the government tightened distancing rules, including a ban on eating in restaurants.

Indonesia, which has one of the highest burdens of coronavirus cases in Asia, has seen an increase in infections in recent weeks as more people gathered and traveled during Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of the Ramadan New daily cases have risen 26 percent in the past two weeks, and only 4 percent of the population is fully vaccinated, according to a New York Times database.

Indonesian fans of the Korean band have acknowledged that the delivery drivers faced long lines and possible exposure to the coronavirus to bring them their BTS food. Online message boards have asked customers to reward drivers with attractive tips. At Kitabisa, a crowdfunding site, various initiatives are raising money for drivers and their families.

A user named Vanessa Egas asked for donations to reach a target of 25 million rupees, around $ 1,750, to “pay for the kindness of our driving brothers who stood in line for hours to deliver BTS food.” By Friday, she exceeded that goal and begin disbursing the funds, according to the website.

In other developments around the world:

  • The Philippines It has begun to loosen restrictions on movements in the capital, Manila and nearby provinces, allowing a series of activities to resume, the government said on Friday. Harry Roque, spokesman for President Rodrigo Duterte, announced that closed contactless sports venues, such as gyms, fitness studios, skating rinks and racket sports facilities, could reopen at approximately 30 percent of capacity. Historic sites and museums could also resume operations with limited capacity, he said, but guided tours would remain prohibited. He added that older adults who have been fully vaccinated will be allowed to move more freely, with proof of inoculation.

Jason Gutierrez contributed to reporting.

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