President Jokowi has asked that the long holiday at the end of the year be reduced to ensure safety and implement health protocols.
Whereas long holidays are a way to increase momentum of tourism sectors, especially in Bali, Jokowi has asked to reduce the length of the holidays to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This will impact tourism sectors around Indonesia heavily, including Bali which is only open to domestic tourists at the moment.
“I think the President’s direction is related to the existence of tourist clusters, especially during long holidays,” said Cok Ace, Deputy Governor of Bali.
Cok Ace noted that he still hopes for the arrival of domestic tourists who want to spend the year-end holidays in Bali. He predicts the number of domestic tourists at the end of the year will be over 10,000 per day which is reflected in the long holiday in October where 9,000 tourists visited per day.
Riris Andono, an epidemiologist from Gadjah Mada University explained the link between long holidays and the transmission of COVID-19. He said that long holidays would not have an effect on increasing COVID-19 cases if people remained at home and implemented health protocols when travelling.
“It is not the holiday. The important thing is social distancing. If you want to go on vacation, look for a place that is not busy, avoid crowds and stay in open areas,” said Riris.
Riris further added that it only took 2-3 days for an increase of COVID-19 cases after the arrival of Habib Rizieq Syihab earlier this month.
Regarding Jokowi’s requests for long holidays to be reduced, there has been no update on whether it has been confirmed as it is still to be discussed.