Govt bans mass gatherings, limits church attendances to 50 percent after first new variant case detected in Jakarta
Wiku Adisasmito, the government spokesman on Covid-19, calls for churches in Indonesia to apply health protocols on Dec. 16. (Photo: Covid-19.go.id)
The Indonesian government has banned Christmas celebrations involving mass gatherings in public places and warned churches to implement stricter Covid-19 protocols when holding services.
The move follows the announcement of the country’s first Omicron case on Dec. 16 involving a cleaner at a hospital in Jakarta.
Wiku Adisasmito, the government’s Covid-19 spokesman, said the government does not want to implement an outright ban on church services, so each church should establish committees tasked with strictly implementing health protocols during Christmas Masses.
“This would also include limiting church attendances to 50 percent of capacity,” he said.
However, Christmas activities involving mass gatherings in public places such as carol concerts or events in shopping malls are banned.
Church spokeswoman Susiana Suwadie said Jakarta Archdiocese has asked Catholics to only attend Christmas Masses in their respective parishes.
“All parishes should commit to following the government regulation,” she told UCA News.
Philip Situmorang, spokesman of the Communion of Churches in Indonesia, said all churches will abide by the new rules.
“We have called for Christians to implement the health protocols and cooperate with the Church's task force on Covid-19,” he said.
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