The government today issued a reminder that the pre-Christmas collective leave day — traditionally given on Dec. 24 — is still canceled, as it seeks to minimize people’s mobility during the end of year break to prevent another COVID-19 wave.
The government officially shortened the Christmas break back in July, meaning Indonesians will only get Christmas day off as a public holiday. There are no other scheduled public holidays for the remainder of 2021.
“The policy was taken to limit masses of people traveling during the end of year holidays,” Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy said in a press release issued today.
Furthermore, the government has also imposed a rule prohibiting civil servants from taking personal leave during the period.
“I ask that there be massive campaigns to plead to the public not to travel. They shouldn’t travel to their hometowns, or go on non-essential trips,” Muhadjir added.
In 2020, Indonesia shortened the Christmas and New Year breaks by taking away collective leave days, and yet still saw a surge in cases in the beginning of 2021 as people travelled en masse anyway.
The country saw its most devastating COVID-19 wave yet in mid-2021 after millions traveled during the Eid holiday. During that time, the more infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus also emerged in the country.
In the last quarter of 2021, Indonesia has registered relatively low COVID-19 numbers, including cases and deaths, both of which continue to gradually decrease.