Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Government has decided to shift collective leave days for Eid al-Fitr to December 28-31, 2020, in anticipation of citizens refraining from embarking on “mudik”, or mass exodus, to contain coronavirus infections.

"The policy follows up on the direction of the President regarding no mass exodus and shifting of the Eid al-Fitr holiday this year (2020),” Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture Muhadjir Effendy said while chairing a ministerial-level meeting on Thursday in Jakarta.

The changes in national holidays and collective leave days for Idul Fitri amend the Joint Decree of the Minister of Religion, the Minister of Manpower, and the Minister of Administrative and Bureaucratic Reforms — No. 174 of 2020, Number 01 of 2020, and Number 01 of 2020, respectively.

The Eid al-Fitr holiday is due to remain unchanged on May 24-25, 2020. However, the collective leave days, which should have been scheduled for May 26-29, 2020, have been revoked and transferred to the end of the year to December 28-31, 2020.

The government has also added collective leave days with the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad on October 28, 2020. On calendar days, the commemoration of the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad falls on October 29, 2020. Earlier on March 9, 2020, the government added a holiday on October 30, 2020.

The shift in collective leave days at the end of the year has been carried out so that the COVID-19 pandemic can be handled properly, said Muhadjir Effendy. In addition, the end of the year is also a school holiday period and gives families time to plan a vacation.

Related news: Indonesian government urges people to not embark on "mudik"

Related news: Expert urges government to ban "mudik" over COVID-19 transmission

The Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture reiterated that people must celebrate Eid al-Fitr in their current locality and appealed to citizens to not go home during “mudik" season. "Mudik" refers to the mass exodus of people returning to their hometowns for celebrating Eid.

Mobility between provinces will be strictly limited and prioritized for logistics distribution and medical needs during the current COVID-19 pandemic, the minister explained.

Muhadjir Effendy said the government has made efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by stipulating Government Regulation Number 21 of 2020 concerning large-scale social restrictions (PSBB).

He asked citizens not to go home or travel in the near future, as the coronavirus is continuing to spread in Indonesia.

Muhadjir Effendy also directed citizens to obey the provisions of the PSBB. "Let us implement a health protocol to fight COVID-19," he said.

The amendment to the National Holiday and Collective Leave Days was re-stated in the Revised Letter of Joint Decision of 3 Ministers — Number 391 Year 2020 and Number 02 Year 2020 — regarding the Second Amendment to the Joint Decree of the Minister of Religion, Minister of Manpower and Minister of Administrative Reform and Bureaucratic Reformation (Number 728 Year 2019, Number 213 Year 2019, Number 01 Year 2019) concerning National Holidays and Collective Leave Days in 2020.

Ministerial meetings were held through video conferences and attended by Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan, Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Minister Tjahjo Kumolo, Manpower Minister Ida Fauziyah, Minister of Religious Affairs Fachrur Razi, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Wishnutama, Secretary General of Home Affairs Ministry Hadi Prabowo, National Police Chief Idham Aziz, and representatives of ministries and other relevant institutions.

Related news: Govt compiles guidebook on passenger restriction during "mudik"

Related news: Indonesian police officers, families banned from embarking on "mudik"

Translator: Aditya Ramadhan, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
Copyright © ANTARA 2020