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Thousands swarm tourist destinations, cemeteries in Greater Jakarta on Idul Fitri

Jakarta Post - May 15, 2021

Radhiyya Indra, Jakarta – Thousands flocked recreational areas and public cemeteries across Jakarta during the Idul Fitri holiday despite various restrictions imposed in the capital in an attempt to prevent a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Ancol Dreamland Park in North Jakarta recorded some 40,000 visitors by around 5 p.m. on Friday, the second day of Idul Fitri, as reported by kompas.com.

Pembangunan Jaya Ancol corporate secretary Agung Praptono said on Thursday the most popular destinations within the park during the Idul Fitri holidays were beach areas, followed by Dunia Fantasi theme park and Seaworld aquarium.

The Jakarta Tourism and Creative Economy Agency allowed tourist destinations to be open during Idul Fitri under strict health protocols, such as requiring online reservations for visitors. The destinations are also required to limit the number of visitors to 30 percent of their original capacity.

Agung said security officers were deployed to patrol within the park area to prevent visitors from forming crowds and make sure they adhere to health and safety rules, such as wearing face masks.

Meanwhile, Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII) in East Jakarta recorded a total of around 23,000 visitors on Friday. Theme park spokesperson Adi Widodo said the figure was still below the 30-percent cap. He added that the park would close its gate for visitors once it reached the maximum capacity.

During a coordination meeting on Monday, regional leaders of Jakarta and its satellite cities agreed to allow recreational areas to open for local visitors only, meaning that they would only be accessible to Jakarta residents. Visitors will be required to show their identity cards upon entering the destinations.

The regional leaders also agreed to restrict people from visiting public cemeteries across Greater Jakarta for the ziarah (grave visit) tradition during Idul Fitri. They argued that the tradition often led to crowds, which increase the risk of virus transmissions.

The policy was imposed to prevent COVID-19 transmissions from Jakarta – the country's epicenter of the coronavirus disease – to satellite cities such as Bogor, Depok and Bekasi in West Java and Tangerang in Banten.

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said the policy would be in effect until Sunday. All tourist destinations and public cemeteries will be reopened for the general public on Monday.

Despite the restrictions, attempts were made to perform ziarah at public cemeteries across Greater Jakarta.

Officials of Utan Jati public cemetery in Kalideres, West Jakarta, caught 35 people trying to sneak in through alleyways and neighboring residential areas. Salem Saragih, the head of the Semanan subdistrict Public Order Agency (Satpol PP), said cemetery personnel had found the trespassers on Thursday morning.

"We immediately told them to leave the cemetery as they were forming a crowd for ziarah," Salem said as quoted by kompas.com.

Meanwhile, the Jati Nusa Indah cemetery in South Tambun, Bekasi regency, was crowded by visitors on Thursday afternoon. Kompas.com reported that most of the visitors, as well as flower and food sellers around the cemetery, had not been wearing masks.

"We're advising people to keep their masks on. But in the end, it depends on the person [if they want to wear masks or not]," said Jati Nusa Indah cemetery caretaker Sukron.

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2021/05/14/thousands-swarm-tourist-destinations-cemeteries-in-greater-jakarta-on-idul-fitri.htm