Indonesia Prohibits Travels for Eid-al Fitr Holidays in 2021
The Indonesian government officially prohibited holiday travel during the Islamic Eid-al Fitr or Idul Fitri festivities.
Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Cultural Affairs Muhadjir Effendy explained that the the ban is designed “to break the increased chain of transmission and rising Covid-19 death toll over the holidays, such as Christmas and New Year’s Day at the end of the year,” he said.
“The prohibition is also intended to optimize the government’s Covid-19 vaccination drive. The ban on the [Idul Fitri] holidays applies to civil servants, military and police personnel, as well as state-owned enterprises [BUMN], from May 6 to May 17,” Muhadjir added.
“The prohibition also applies to professionals in the private sector, freelance and contract workers, and the public at large. While the rule is particularly in force from, we advise the public not to travel before, during and after this period unless there is an emergency.”
Muhadjir asserted that the collective leave for Eid-al Fitr still applies on the first day of the festivities on May 13. Regional leaders like East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa and Jakarta Deputy Governor Ahmad Riza Patria agreed with the central government’s step.
“[The holiday travel ban] helps keep the number of Covid-19 cases in Indonesia from increasing. The timing is just right, as it comes as bed occupancy rates or BOR in hospitals, as well as [Covid-19] positivity rates nationwide are declining,” Khofifah said.
Riza reiterated Khofifah. “Even though we are not going to head [to our hometowns] for the holidays, [smart]phones, WhatsApp, video calls and other technology can make up for the experience.”
The Idul Fitri tradition of holiday travel is one of the biggest of its kind in the world, comparable to the Lunar New Year in China or Thanksgiving and Christmas in the United States.
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