Indonesian President’s Eid ‘open house’ cancelled

JAKARTA, Oct. 20, 2019 (Xinhua) — Indonesian President Joko Widodo (C) speaks at the inauguration ceremony in Jakarta, Indonesia, Oct. 20, 2019. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei/IANS)

Jakarta, May 22 (IANS) Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo will not open the presidential palace to the public during Eid, which falls on Sunday in the country, due to social distancing rules amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tradition, referred to as open house, sees the President meet the public for a brief period of time, the BBC reported.

People can usually shake hands with the leader and First Lady and eat a light meal at the palace afterwards.

Last year, thousands of people waited their turn to meet the president.

Those waiting were hosted by palace staff in an air-conditioned tent, complete with snacks and entertainment.

With this year’s pandemic, the tradition simply wouldn’t fit with the government’s own recommendations to stay at home and maintain social distancing in public places, said the BBC report.

Muslims in the country have also been urged to forgo mass Eid prayers at mosques or open fields.

They have been told not to return to their hometowns or villages and to move their celebrations with their loved ones online.

Indonesia recorded its biggest daily jump of positive COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the total cases to 20,162.

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