Indonesia may cancel Christmas-New Year collective leave days if outbreak is not contained

Indonesia national COVID-19 task force chief Doni Monardo. Photo: BNPB
Indonesia national COVID-19 task force chief Doni Monardo. Photo: BNPB

Indonesia’s COVID-19 task force may recommend that the long break at the end of the year be scrapped if it finds further correlation between holidays and increase in COVID-19 cases.

The government doesn’t ordinarily mandate a public holiday between Christmas and New Year holidays. However, this year, to make up for canceling Eid al-Fitr collective leave days amid fresh outbreak concerns in May, the government mandated collective leave days from a day before Christmas to New Year’s Day, meaning Indonesians won’t have to go to work from Dec. 24 to Jan. 1.

Potentially throwing a dampener on our end-of-year holiday plans is the fact that Indonesia recorded a record daily count high of 5,444 on Nov. 13, followed by the second highest count of 5,272 the next day. The COVID-19 task force is concerned that they may have resulted from the five-day long weekend at the end of October.

“We are monitoring developments [of the impacts from the October long weekend] in the next week. We want to see if the impacts are significant or if the public have gotten better in enforcing good holiday habits and staying safe from crowds,” COVID-19 task force head Doni Monardo said during a virtual press conference yesterday.

Should Indonesia continue to record high daily counts throughout this week, Doni said the task force will recommend to the government that the end-of-year collective leave days be canceled.

“But if there are no significant increases and we can contain the outbreak well, then God willing we will recommend to the government to continue the long holiday.”

Whatever the task force and the government’s decision regarding the December break, we hope that you continue to comply with health protocols whether you decide to go on vacation or stay at home.

Related — Government releases 2021 holiday and collective leave schedule

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