The Jakarta Post
The government is restricting state civil servants from traveling out of town and taking leave as part of its efforts to avoid a COVID-19 case surge following the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
The new policy is stipulated in Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Ministry (Kemenpan-RB) circular No. 72/2020 on travel and leave restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, which was issued on Dec. 21.
The rules take effect from Dec. 21 to Jan. 8, 2021.
“We urge members of the state civil service and their families not to travel out of town during the 2020 Christmas and 2021 New Year holidays,” Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Minister Tjahjo Kumolo said on Tuesday, tribunnews.com reported.
In a situation where a civil servant needs to travel out of town, they have to be aware of virus infection risk zoning, of local regulations at their destinations in regard to people’s movement restrictions during the pandemic and to comply with health protocols, including those on traveling, at all times.
Tjahjo also said that each civil servant personnel supervisor must be strict, selective and accountable in approving leave requests during the holidays.
Supervisors must be aware of the necessity of a leave request and if such leave is in accordance with requirements set by Government Regulation (PP) No. 49/2018 on government employee management
Nevertheless, Tjahjo said that all supervisors and civil servants must abide by health protocols and refrain from traveling.
Any staff member who violates the regulations will be punished according to PP No. 53/2010 on the civil servant’s disciplinary code and PP No. 49/2018 and PP No. 49/2018 on government employee management.
Earlier this month, the government decided to reduce the number of collective leave days for the Christmas and New Year celebrations, including a substitute for Idul Fitri leave.
In the new arrangements, the country will enjoy a total of eight days off, namely from Dec. 24 to 27 for the Christmas holiday, Dec. 31 for the Idul Fitri substitute leave, as well as from Jan 1 to 3 for the New Year celebration. The collective leave days will only be on Dec. 24 and Dec. 31, in addition to Christmas Day on Dec. 25 and New Year’s Day on Jan. 1, 2021, according to Presidential Regulation No. 23/2020.
The arrangements for the upcoming holidays coincide with two weekends, meaning that the public will have two sets of long weekends in late December and early January. Previously, 11 days of leave had been allocated for the year-end national holidays.
“Therefore, there are three fewer days off [than previously planned],” Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy told a press conference in Jakarta on Dec. 1, as quoted by kompas.com.
The three days that are no longer part of the national holiday were originally planned for Dec. 28 to 30.
“The new arrangement is a reduction, meaning that we won’t have substitutes in the future,” he added. (ami)
Editor’s note: This article is part of a public campaign by the COVID-19 task force to raise people’s awareness about the pandemic.