JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Matters concerning Indonesia’s public holidays will be decided on Monday by President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo.
Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Cultural Affairs, Muhadjir Effendy shared the news update.
Muhadjir added that based on a ministerial meeting held Friday, several options have been offered regarding the country’s year-end holidays that have gotten the public talking.
“There are still some options. The Indonesian President will decide during a cabinet meeting, God willing, on Monday.”
However, the minister did not provide any details on what the options are.
The Indonesian President has asked to decrease the number of holidays for December.
Jokowi explained that the preference is to avoid an overly long holiday that could contribute to the high-levels of new Covid-19 infections in the country. He has shared those concerns during a meeting at the Merdeka Palace earlier on Monday.
“Concerning Indonesia’s public holidays, including replacement days from Eid ul-Fitr, the Indonesian President has asked for a reduction in the number of days off.”
Muhadjir further stated the Jokowi has asked that all measures must be taken to avoid large gatherings from happening even if it means reducing the number of December public holidays because the government is striving to prevent a resurgence of fresh infections.
Earlier this year, the government made the decision to replace the Eid ul-Fitr holidays in May 2020 for December 2020 when the number of Covid-19 cases in Indonesia had been at one of its worst periods.
Specifically, the government originally planned to push the May 26-29 holidays to Dec. 28-31 of this year.
Spokesperson for the National Covid-19 Taskforce, WIku Adisasmito concurred that a long holiday will contribute to more Covid-19 confirmed cases national as evidenced by what happened in August.
“Learning from previous experience, a long holiday does affect nationwide Covid-19 cases. So the impact is not just regionally, but nationally,” stated Wiku.
Wiku explained how the lessons from August taught the government that an extended holiday break leads people to head to a certain location in droves or to return to their hometowns in large numbers.
Furthermore, health protocols were improperly practiced during that period.
“Given this, we are reminding the public to avoid traveling to places that are typically crowded during a holiday. Stay at home and gather with your families.”
The recent debate over Indonesia’s public holidays for December 2020 and the Indonesian President’s concerns come as the country experience another spike in Covid-19 cases from the long holiday break in October.
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