The Jakarta Post
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo will not host an open house public gathering at the State Palace on the first day of the Idul Fitri holidays on Monday to comply with physical distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last year, the President hosted a similar event at Merdeka Palace, with thousands thronging to greet him.
“An open house will involve a large mass gathering that can increase COVID-19 transmission, therefore, the President will not host the event,” presidential staffer Angkie Yudistia wrote in a statement on Friday.
She added that Jokowi understood that Idul Fitri was a moment to forgive each other and to strengthen ties with relatives and friends. However, people needed to maintain physical distance and communicate online instead, Angkie said.
“All meetings held and attended by the President are conducted virtually using video. There should be no exception for Idul Fitri gatherings.”
The government previously declared a ban on all mass religious activities, including Idul Fitri congregational prayers, to prevent a spike in COVID-19 cases. (aly)