The Jakarta Post
Tourists spend time at the Tegallalang tourist destination in Gianyar, Bali, on Oct. 28. (Antara/Fikri Yusuf)
The year-end holiday is just around the corner. Those planning to travel may need to take several measures to avoid contracting COVID-19.
Ivan Adrian, a medical doctor-cum-entrepreneur, recommended that travelers make online transactions during their trip.
“We usually touch various items, such as ATM [machines] and cash, during our vacation. Make digital transactions [whenever] possible,” he said during a virtual event hosted by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) on Tuesday.
That being said, Ivan suggested that travelers book a hotel or tickets online.
In addition to using digital transactions, Ivan also reminded travelers to implement the “3M” health protocols, which cover mask-wearing, hand-washing and social distancing.
He emphasized that the risk of contracting the coronavirus in tourist attractions would increase if people did not strictly implement these health protocols.
Ivan pointed out that people who were asymptomatic might unknowingly transmit the disease.
“Asymptomatic cases are dangerous as they might not realize that they have been infected,” he said. “They may walk around without a face mask and their droplets would fall on surfaces while they’re talking.”
Amid the surge of COVID-19 cases, tourism stakeholders, such as Bali-based bike and scooter rental Bananaz.co CEO Rizky Diansyah and TX Travel managing director Anton Thedy, have made several adjustments to protect their clients from the novel coronavirus.
Rizky said all the scooters supplied by Bananaz.co were disinfected and cleaned thoroughly before being delivered to customers.
“We also give free face masks to customers,” he said.
Meanwhile, Anton said TX Travel had stopped offering group tour packages and replaced them with road trips.
“We no longer gather people from different groups in one trip. Instead, each group will ride a private car,” he explained, adding that the company was now bringing clients to quiet tourist attractions to avoid large crowds.
Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, a survey by online booking service PegiPegi found that 75 percent of Indonesians planned to travel during the year-end holiday.
Polling 1,490 people and conducted from Nov. 9 to 16, the survey found that 45 percent of respondents planned to drive to other cities during the year-end holiday, while 30 percent planned to travel by plane and 11 percent planned to take a staycation in their respective cities of residence.
In an attempt to avoid an increase in COVID-19 cases caused by long holidays, the government has decided to reduce the number of collective leave days for Christmas and New Year celebrations, including a substitute for a canceled day off during Idul Fitri.
In the new arrangements, the country will enjoy a total of eight days off, namely from Dec. 24 to 27 for Christmas, Dec. 31 to substitute for the canceled Idul Fitri leave day, as well as from Jan 1 to 3 for New Year.
The arrangement for the upcoming holidays coincides with two weekends, meaning that the public will have two long weekends in a row in late December and early January. Previously, there were 11 days of leave in the year-end national holidays. (jes)
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.
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