After about a year of offline events being placed on halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno this week signaled an imminent return to our old ways of seeking leisure following Indonesia’s mass vaccination program.
Sandiaga, who has been busy preparing for the reboot of mass tourism in Indonesia ever since he was appointed in December 2020, gave what is arguably the strongest indication yet of the government’s will to allow leisure events to take place for the first time since the pandemic began.
“If [offline] events can be held again, [they should be] initiated and coordinated in synergy with the local police and regional COVID-19 Task Force. Please hold the events with colossal synergy, involving all parties. Including for musical concerts with strict health protocols,” Sandiaga said during a press conference today.
“We already have the Cleanliness, Health, and Safety (CHS) program for creative economy activities.”
Sandiaga’s statement might just be the answer that the creative industry was looking for. Earlier this month, a number of event promoters and associations of creative industry workers published an open letter addressed to President Joko Widodo and related officials, including Sandiaga, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin, and the National COVID-19 Task Force Chief Doni Monardo, requesting authorities to grant them permission to host events that are held with strict health protocols.
A representative of one of the organizations involved, Dino Hamid from the Indonesian Music Promoter Association (APMI), also questioned why other sectors, such as retail and food and beverage, are allowed to operate during the pandemic despite their crowd potential.
No specific timeframe for the reboot has been outlined, though we know that the government is aiming to reach herd immunity via its mass vaccination program by March 2022. Regardless, we already know to expect the government to advise, “don’t forget to adhere to health protocols” should we be allowed to attend events and concerts again.