The Minister of Home Affairs, Tito Karnavian, on Monday, 22 November 2021, issued instructions (Inmendagri No, 62 Tahun 2021) to limit the spread of COVID-19 during the year-end Christmas and New Year 2021/2022. The special instructions will be in force for ten days from 24 December 2021 until 02 January 2022.
As reported by Balipost.com, the Ministerial Instructions declared all of Indonesia would be under a Level 3 Semi-Lockdown (PPKM) with strict health protocols in effect in three areas, namely, churches and places of worship for Christmas services, shopping centers, and local tourism sites.
The Minister’s instructions placed particular emphasis on these popular tourist destinations in Indonesia: Bali, Bandung (West Java), Bogor, Yogyakarta, Malang, Surabaya, and Medan.
The Minister ordered that tourism sites in every regency and municipal area of Indonesia undertake appropriate health protocols. Odd-even license plate access rules will also be implemented at selected key tourism sites across the nation.
The instructions issued by the Minister warned the public to expect strict enforcement of five health protocols to reduce the chance of contagion:
- Wearing masks.
- Washing hands with soap or hand sanitizers.
- Maintaining physical distance.
- Reducing movements and avoiding crowds.
- Using the PeduliLindungi Mobile Phone Application when entering public places.
- Limiting access to people who are fully vaccinated.
Managers of tourism sites are also obliged to cancel gatherings where it is impossible or impractical to maintain physical distancing, limit occupancy to 50% of standard numbers. Holiday celebrations in either open or enclosed venues are also expressly forbidden during the proscribed period. In addition, Karnavian ordered the reduced use of sound amplification systems that might cause people to gather in large groups in one area, thereby automatically limiting cultural and traditional performances.
Limitations on both religious and non-religious public gatherings are also in effect.
Strict health protocols will be in place nationwide. Those visiting shopping and commercial centers are asked to use the PeduliLindungi Application, scanning the bar code posted at the entrance.
Only visitors with a yellow or green status can access these businesses.
Indonesia has three colored codes applied to all people during the COVID-related lockdown:
- Red Code – for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are in close contact with someone suffering from the coronavirus.
- Yellow Code – for people who have received the first dosage of a COVID-19 vaccine.
- Green Code – for people who are fully vaccinated, having received two dosages of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Not only does the Ministerial decree outlaw Christmas and New Year’s celebration at restaurants and places of entertainment, but also similar activities planned during the ten days held at malls and shopping centers.
Exempted from the prohibition are exhibitions conducted by “small and medium-sized enterprises” (UMKM).
During the holiday season, shopping centers and malls will be allowed to remain open from 09:00 AM until 10:00 PM.
Shopping centers must enforce strict health protocols and only allow crowds of 50% or less of their normal capacity.
Movie theaters can operate at a maximum of 50% of their maximum seating capacity while also enforcing strict health protocols.
Restaurants and Eateries
Bars, restaurants, cafes, and food centers within shopping complexes are limited to operating at 50% of their standard capacity. Health protocol practices for both employees and customers are mandatory.
Parades and Convoys Forbidden
Street parades and celebratory convoys are forbidden during the 10-day lockdown.
Fireworks and pyrotechnics of all types are also expressly forbidden during the holiday period from 24 December 2021 until 02 January 2022.