THE end of 2020 holiday is different from the previous year due to space restrictions that make some people have to postpone their plans to travel outside the city.
In Jakarta, the provincial government requires rapid antigen testing for people who will leave or enter the capital during the Christmas 2020 homecoming period and the new year 2021 to January 8, 2021.
Meanwhile, airplane passengers to Bali Island are required to submit a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based swab examination certificate with negative results.
Although the cost of traveling has increased, the end of year holidays are still used by some people to travel, especially to visit relatives.
Sylvi Johana with her husband and child underwent a PCR swab test before leaving from Bintaro to Lampung to visit her in-laws. She wanted to make sure her family was in good health before traveling to visit her elderly parents.
“To make it safe, we better just swab PCR, because if it’s rapid there is a possibility of false negatives, right,” said Sylvi.
Moreover, he also ventured out of town because he used private vehicles instead of public transportation. To be more careful about avoiding contact with other people, they did not stop by during the trip.
“Departing at night so I didn’t stop anywhere, really only got out of the car after arriving at the house of the in-laws.”
Likewise, Diana Riasari also decided to return to her hometown from Surabaya to Depok. He had to spend because the announcement requiring a rapid antigen test coincided with his scheduled return home.
“The announcement of the antigen is really new, so my husband and I have the antigen test, fortunately it is at the airport, the price is affordable, the kids have rapid antibody,” she noted.
Fitria Rahmadianti also traveled to Lampung for family matters. With the principle of applying health protocols and being diligent in taking vitamins, he plans to ride a car from Java Island and cross by boat.
“Maybe because I just went to Lampung and took a car with my family, so I’m not too worried,” she said.
Some others choose to cancel their plans, or have no intention of traveling outside the home at the end of 2020.
Zaneti Sugiharti actually had to go to Surabaya for work, but the current situation caused him to postpone the business. At greater risk, he decided to wait until things got better. After all, he didn’t want to join the sea of people that filled the airport near the end of the year.
For the holidays, she has decided to do activities at home. “At home, you don’t have to force yourself,” said Zaneti.
Angela Clarissa also refused to cram into tourist attractions, the reason being that she was discouraged from going to Bandung. Learning from his experience while on vacation together to Yogyakarta some time ago, tourist spots were full of people.
“Moreover, the cost for the swab test is quite burdensome if the holidays are carried out together with other family members. “Honestly, it’s more toward his lazy swab. I prefers to enjoy the holiday atmosphere in the capital, stay at home or eat at a shopping center,” she noted.
Meanwhile, simple entertainment in the form of resting at home while playing with the kids is an option for Donda Situmeang. As a young mother with a toddler, she does not want to take risks by traveling far away when the pandemic is still raging.
The holiday atmosphere is also felt in other parts of the world. Quoted from the AP, traffic jams occur at the European border because people there want to return home for Christmas and New Year.
Lines of cars lined up on the border between Slovenia and Croatia, as well as Hungary and Serbia, as thousands waited to cross the border. Many people from Turkey, Serbia to Bosnia work and live in Western Europe. They usually go home by car while on vacation.
Several European Union countries with large migrant worker communities have imposed obligations to include coronavirus testing and isolation on their return, in hopes of reducing people to holidays to countries with high infection rates.
Meanwhile, ahead of the Christmas and New Year holidays, airlines and online travel agents (OTA) are competing to attract consumers’ attention by giving discounts for airplane tickets to hotels.
The airasia.com app is holding a super sale on the website and app that runs until December 20, offering discounts of up to 60% on airline tickets, hotels, flight and hotel combo packages, WiFi to luggage and seats and meals.
The online travel agency PegiPegi also offers discount programs for airline, hotel, train, bus and travel bookings of up to 70 percent. This promotional period takes place on 14 December 2020-3 January 2021 on the Pegipegi application.
“The data from our survey shows that most people will go on vacation at the end of the year. For this reason, we want to make this year’s end of the year holiday accessible with a large and varied promo from us,” Shella Dellina, Pegipegi’s brand marketing manager concluded. [antaranews/photo special]