Soapbox: publisher's perspective |

Why All This Fear Around the Festive Season? It Just Takes Discipline!

Soapbox: Publisher's Perspective | 20 November 2021
Source: Finanncial Times / Lucas Varela

As we head quickly to the time of year when we are planning a break, preparing to add more dining pleasures and maybe even preparing a party at home, the warning bells are already ringing in the government offices... and they don’t need to be! But it looks PPKM (social restrictions) will be increased for the holiday period, between 24 December 2021 to 3 Januray 2022... 

The hotel and restaurant industry is gearing up to try to take a little revenue back after two long years of restrictions, lockdowns and closures. And they need that income desperately. But at the same time the government is quite anxious to avoid a ‘spike’ in COVID-19 cases from increased mobility and gatherings at the Festive Season, which is quite understandable. It has happened before…

So how to combine these two very important and contradictory needs? Actually, it’s easy. If it’s safe to operate as we are doing now, and it seems to be, let’s make the limits of travel, dining, drinking and gathering the same as now! And not let them spiral out of control by pushing too hard on the “ festive season “ theme.

We had better not let hotels go to full capacity, and keep restaurants and bars as they are now. If they want to have Christmas Lunches and Dinners that’s great, change the menu but don’t change the rules! Let’s not have the extra flights to Bali. Lombok and Jogja. Just stay as we are. Things are getting better and are at a manageable level...

Yes, people need to relax and wind down at year end but we can also encourage them to do so outdoors. We can promote walks & cycling, barbecues and park events, not necessarily huge parties. There are many options!

There is no need to close entertainment venues like cinemas or aquariums, just limit the numbers, get the queuing systems right and phase the entrances and exits & exits . All it takes is discipline and good management. Surely we can do that and keep our hospitality industry alive. Thousands of jobs - and lives - depend on it!

What are your thoughts on the matter?