Christmas New Year restrictions announced: Not so drastic

Image: Christmas in Bali. Credit: Air Asia.

The government has announced a number of restrictions during the coming Christmas and New Year period to prevent the spread of the corona virus.

“For socio-cultural events, the maximum allowed crowd is 50 people and the use of Care and Protect app must be enforced,” Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan was quoted by Kompas this morning, Tuesday (7/12).

While admitting that the government will not be implementing Level 3 PPKM restrictions in all areas, they have decided to ban all types of New Year’s celebrations in hotels, shopping centers, malls, tourist attractions, and other public places.

Meanwhile, shopping centers, restaurants, cinemas and tourist attractions, are only allowed to open with a maximum capacity of 75 percent and only for people with the green category in the PeduliLindung application.

“The changes in detail will be stated in the revision of the Inmendagri (Instruction of the Minister of Home Affairs) and other circulars related to the period,” said Luhut.

At the same time, Luhut continued, the government will tighten domestic long-distance travel requirements. In addition to being required to show a negative antigen test result 1×24 hours before departure, travelers are required to have the complete doses of vaccination. Therefore, adults who have not been fully vaccinated or cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons are not allowed to travel long distance.

Meanwhile, children who want to travel by air must show a negative PCR result, which are valid for 3×24 hours, or antigens for 1×24 hours for land or sea travel.

Tightening is also carried out at the Indonesian border with foreign travelers having to show a negative PCR test result, maximum of 2 × 24 hours before departure, and quarantine remains at 10 days.

However, the government has decided not to apply PPKM level 3 to all regions. The implementation of the PPKM level during the festive season will continue to follow the assessment of the pandemic situation as currently applicable, but with some tightening.

“This decision is also based on the achievement of 76 percent one dose vaccination in Java-Bali and two dose, which is close to 56 percent,” said the Java-Bali PPKM Coordinator.

He also stated that during last year’s festive season there were zero vaccinations in Indonesia and from sero-testing results Indonesia now has high levels of Covid-19 antibodies.

Luhut also said that while the new variant Omicron remains clearly very infectious and is spreading fast around the world, it is still not clear how deadly it is. “From initial findings in South Africa the severity and death rate appeared to be under control, but we will still keep travel restrictions until there are further studies and information,” he was quoted in BaliPost.

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