JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The Indonesian government has decided to drastically reduce collective leave for the country’s national holidays in 2021, after officials attributed the surge in Covid-19 cases at the end of 2020 to the number of these off days.
Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture Muhadjir Effendy said “the number of annual collective leave for lengthy holidays have been reduced from seven to two days,” he announced in a press release dated Monday, February 22.
“We noted that the number of collective leave days led to an increased number of travelers, which in turn led to a surge in Covid-19 cases. That is why we made a Joint Ministerial Decree [SKB] to reduce collective leave days, which in turn would decrease the rate of Covid-19 transmission.”
Muhadjir pointed out that the signatories of the SKB included the Ministry of Religious Affairs, the Ministry of Labor, as well as the Ministry of Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform.
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The collective leave days will be limited to the eve of Lebaran, the Indonesian name for the Islamic Eid-al Fitr holidays celebrating the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan on May 12, as well as Christmas Eve on December 24.
“The five collective leave days that are eliminated include March 12, the day after the Is’ra Mir’aj [the Prophet Muhammad’s Night Journey] holiday, and the collective leaves for Lebaran on May 17, 18 and 19.”
Aside from curbing the rate of Covid-19 transmissions, Muhadjir hoped “reducing the collective leave to [those] two days will ease the Indonesian National Police’s ability to manage public movement," he said.
"We also hope that this will reduce the chances of cases from surging on any one day.”
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The number of official Indonesian holidays are as follows after the government decision on collective holidays:
January 1: New Year’s Day 2021
February 12: Chinese Lunar New Year 2572
March 11: Isr’a Mi’raj [The Prophet Muhammad SAW’s Night Journey]
March 14: Nyepi Hindu Saka New Year 1943
April 2: The death of Jesus Christ
May 1: May Day
May 13: The Ascension of Jesus Christ
May 13-14: [Lebaran] Eid-al Fitr 1442 Hijriah
May 26: Waisak 2565 [Buddha’s birthday]
June 1: Anniversary of Pancasila
July 20: Iedul Adha [Islamic Feast of the Sacrifice] 1442 Hijriah
August 10: Islamic New Year 1443 Hijriah
August 17: Indonesian Independence Day
October 19: Birth of the Prophet Muhammad SAW
December 25: Christmas Day
Muhadjir also urged the public to comply with health protocols during the holidays, such as wearing masks, washing one’s hands, practicing social distancing and avoiding crowds, as well as reducing mobility and interpersonal interaction.
(Writers: Deti Mega Purnamasari, Nur Rohmi Aida | Editors: Diamanty Meiliana, Rizal Setyo Nugroho)
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