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Indonesians refrain from holiday travels, festivities to control pandemic

Jakarta Post - December 28, 2020

Jakarta – National Police (Polri) Traffic Corps head Insp. Gen. Istiono has said there has been a significant decrease in tourists traveling to Bali, following the country's efforts to curb COVID-19 transmission during the year-end holidays.

He said there were 90 percent fewer tourists than during the same period last year.

"On [Sunday], over 1,000 people arrived at Bali's I Ngurah Rai airport. However, this is a 90 percent decrease compared to the same period last year, when 21,000 people arrived at the airport," said Istiono after monitoring tourist mobility at the I Ngurah Rai airport and Ketapang Port in Banyuwangi, East Java, on Sunday as quoted by kompas.com.

He went on to say there had been a slight decrease in traffic to Bali via Ketapang Port. Nevertheless, Istiono said personnel of the Banyuwangi Police, East Java Police and Bali Police had managed it well enough.

Istiono, who also monitored COVID-19 measures for the holidays at bus terminals, said that at least 1,400 drivers had taken rapid antigen tests.

"Out of 1,400 drivers, 19 of them tested positive for COVID-19 and we have recommended that they go to hospitals for further treatment," he added.

In regard to safeguarding the country during the holiday, Polri, the National Military (TNI) and the local administrations are committed to monitoring people's mobility regularly, especially after the government ordered the public to refrain from any festivities during Christmas and New Year to contain the virus.

"[The public] are banned from hosting lively events during New Year's Eve. [The police] are also not issuing crowd permits at certain spots in hotels.

"The police have also issued a circular on [banning] crowds. There will be no [crowded] New Year's Eve events to stop the virus from spreading," said Istiono.

North Sulawesi Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Jules Abraham Abast said the police in the province would abide by the Polri chief's circular by reminding citizens to refrain from any festivities, both secular and religious, during Christmas and New Year.

The ban includes carnivals and fireworks events. "Police officers will take strict measures according to the law for any violation," said Jules.

Last week, Polri chief Gen. Idham Azis issued the circular, which regulates compliance with health protocols during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Polri spokesman Insp. Gen. Raden Prabowo Argo Yuwono said the circular was aimed at preventing COVID-19 transmission.

He further said the circular was necessary as the country had yet to perform COVID-19 handling well across the nation and that the virus still had a high potential to spread.

Previously, the police had issued two circulars in regard to crowd prevention, taking place in the early stage of the pandemic in March and ahead of December regional elections. (nkn)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/12/28/indonesians-refrain-from-holiday-travels-festivities-to-control-pandemic.htm