The government of Bali, Indonesia, announced on Tuesday that “celebrations, fireworks, as well as getting drunk for the upcoming Christmas and New Year holiday will be prohibited” on the island to accommodate an expected domestic tourism boom in the coming weeks, Coconuts Jakarta reported.
Bali government officials issued an official notice on Tuesday explaining that “any activity throughout Christmas and the New Year must adhere to [coronavirus] health protocols, comprising compulsory mask use, social distancing and limits on public and crowded places, among others,” the local news outlet revealed.
According to the government notice, individuals, businesses, and event organizers on Bali are “strictly prohibited” from “Organizing New Year celebrations and the likes –– both indoors and outdoors … Lighting fireworks, firecrackers, and the likes; and … getting drunk on liquor and alcoholic drinks.”
People caught violating the new health mandates “will be subject to a number of sanctions previously laid out on an earlier circular, such as a fine of IDR100,000 (US$7) for individuals without masks and a fine of IDR1 million (US$71) for businesses failing to provide health protocol facilities,” according to the report.
Tuesday’s government notice also includes new coronavirus-related restrictions for travelers to Bali. The mandates will come into effect on December 18 and last until January 4, 2021.
Indonesia was the first Southeast Asian nation to receive a delivery of coronavirus vaccine candidates from China’s state-run Sinotech Biotech on December 6. The country currently has 1.2 million doses and expects an additional shipment of raw materials to produce 15 million extra doses from the same Chinese state pharmaceutical company later this month.
Indonesian health authorities are preparing to roll out the nation’s coronavirus vaccination program in the coming weeks and will reportedly target “its young working-age population against the coronavirus before the elderly, in contrast to much of the world that’s planning on putting its vulnerable older people first in line,” Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.
“[Indonesia] will focus on inoculating those between 18 and 59 years of age, starting with those working on the front lines of the pandemic such as health workers, the police, and the military,” according to the news agency.
“Our aim is herd immunity,” Amin Soebandrio, director of Jakarta’s Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology, told Bloomberg.
“With the most active and exposed group of population – those 18 to 59 – vaccinated, then they form a fortress to protect the other groups. It’s less effective when we use our limited number of vaccines on the elderly when they’re less exposed,” he explained.
“Health workers on the islands of Java and Bali, which account for more than 60 percent of confirmed cases, will receive the 1.2 million doses of China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd vaccine that arrived on December 6. That will be followed by front line workers in the rest of the country,” according to the report.
Indonesia recorded more than 90,000 new coronavirus cases in the first half of December, the Jakarta Globe reported on Tuesday. New coronavirus infections have been spiking at an unprecedented rate in major hotspots across Indonesia, according to the newspaper. The nation’s daily coronavirus death toll reached three-digit figures on December 15 for the third consecutive week. “A further 6,120 cases were reported on Tuesday, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 629,429. Of the total, 14.9 percent or 93,662 are active cases,” according to the report.