Rachel Vennya, one of Indonesia’s most renowned social media influencers, may face legal repercussions for allegedly ditching mandatory quarantine, with the Health Ministry already urging law enforcement to look into the case.
The 26-year-old Instagram celebrity and her partner, Salim Nauderer, recently returned from New York Fashion Week as an ambassador for an Indonesian fashion brand, along with other celebrities and influencers. According to Indonesia’s regulations at the time of their return, travelers arriving from abroad must undergo quarantine for eight days upon arrival.
The allegation first surfaced after an Instagram user wrote a comment under a post, claiming to be the administrative officer who entered Rachel’s data at the COVID-19 Emergency Hospital in Wisma Atlet Pademangan, North Jakarta.
“Why am I pissed at Rachel? Because she easily escaped quarantine, whereas many old female migrant workers (TKW) had to undergo an eight-day quarantine, when many of their parents had died, their children died, but they were still forced to [be quarantined for] eight days. Meanwhile this person could just leave after three days that easily,” the comment reads.
Another netizen who claimed to work at the COVID-19 test lab which conducted Rachel’s swab test also tweeted that she returned home even though she was registered to quarantine at Wisma Atlet Pademangan, adding that the influencer had only been tested once.
Rachel has yet to come forward with a clarification, though a number of paid Instagram stories were put up on her account earlier today.
Responding to the possible scandal, Health Ministry spokeswoman Siti Nadia Tarmizi said the government wants authorities to seriously look into the case.
“The Health Ministry urges authorities to take strict action against anyone who violates the rule on mandatory quarantine, and urge them to thoroughly investigate this case,” Siti Nadia said today.
Siti Nadia asserted that Indonesian citizens or foreign nationals arriving from countries with a spike in COVID-19 cases are mandated to undergo a 14-day quarantine; while those coming from countries with low numbers of cases will have to undergo an eight-day quarantine — as laid out in a regulation signed by Indonesia’s COVID-19 Task Force Head Ganip Warsito on Sept. 15, which may well see some changes soon.
She highlighted that those “proven guilty” of violating existing rules will be given sanctions accordingly.
Under Indonesia’s Health Quarantine Law, Rachel and her partner could potentially face up to one-year imprisonment each for violating mandatory quarantine rules.