Tourism players laud new health protocols as destinations reopen

first_imgTourist industry experts have lauded the government’s decision to issue health protocols for public places such as hotels and restaurants, saying the measures will provide customers peace of mind as tourist destinations start to reopen.Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto signed on June 19 a decree on health guidelines for public facilities, including hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, fitness centers, convention halls, tourist destinations and public transportation.In general, such establishments are obliged to provide hand sanitizers in public spaces, clean these areas with disinfectant at least three times a day and maintain proper ventilation by prioritizing fresh air circulation or periodically replacing air conditioner filters. Temperature checks and the use of face masks are also mandatory for both employees and guests, according to the decree. People without masks are barred from entering public facilities and spaces.The 50 percent cap on venue capacity that has been widely used by businesses is not included in the decree, which instead has a 1-meter social distancing rule.The decree also provides specific regulations for certain businesses, such as mandatory room disinfection prior to guest check-in and the provision of hand sanitizers in each room for hotels.Convention hall operators are obliged to enforce the 1-meter physical distancing rule by limiting the number of attendees. In addition, venues and restaurants have been instructed to suspend buffet services and to provide takeaway menus. Customers at beauty parlors and hairdressers are urged to bring their own makeup tools, while employees are required to sanitize equipment that is used on multiple customers, such as hair clippers and towels.“We believe that the protocol is sufficient enough to provide assurances to our consumers that we can limit the spread of COVID-19,” Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) chairman Hariyadi Sukamdani told The Jakarta Post in a phone interview on Monday.He lauded the government’s initiative to issue the health protocols, saying they could help spur confidence in consumers.The tourist industry is among the worst-hit sectors amid the COVID-19 pandemic as people have chosen to stay at home to avoid catching the highly contagious coronavirus while governments around the world have closed their borders.Foreign tourist arrivals dropped 87.44 percent year-on-year to 160,000 in April, the lowest in recent history, as countries around the world have imposed different degrees of lockdowns or physical distancing measures, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data show.However, Hariyadi said the new health protocols had become a financial burden for hoteliers and tour operators whose cash had been depleting following months of closures.“We need additional capital to cover the costs of introducing the health protocols. It has become a challenge for us as financial institutions are still reluctant [to provide loans],” he said.He also urged the government to more aggressively trace COVID-19 cases to push down the infection rate, which shows no sign of flattening in Indonesia.Indonesia recorded over 47,800 positive COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday afternoon, a daily increase of more than 1,000 cases, as the death toll reached at least 2,500, official data show. It is also the country with the highest number of cases in Southeast Asia.Tourist industry expert Henky Hermantoro said the protocols could help improve market confidence in the industry despite the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country.“While the COVID-19 infection number continues to grow, I think we cannot shut down the industry for too long. The tourist industry provides a huge multiplier effect to the economy and we need to reignite it,” Henky told the Post in a separate interview.Henky said tourist industry players should attract local customers to kick-start their businesses as people were reluctant to travel long distance.The issuance of the decree was followed by a decision from the national COVID-19 task force to gradually reopen the country’s tourist destinations, ending months of operational shutdown.COVID-19 task force chief Doni Monardo said Monday the government would reopen natural tourist destinations, including national parks and water and wildlife conservation sites that were located in regions with a low infection rate.“Regents and mayors [who reopen tourist destinations] must always consult with governors and implement health protocols issued by the central government,” Doni said in a broadcasted press conference.Destinations must also limit the number of visitors to 50 percent of their normal capacity and consistently monitor for potential outbreaks, Doni added.Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Wishnutama Kusubandio welcomed the health minister’s decree, saying he hoped it would standardize health requirements for industry players, as current protocols were formed independently or based on guidelines issued by various industry associations.Topics :last_img read more

Continue reading

Women in politics: 60 years of milestones

first_imgFour years later she was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards following a deadly confrontation between Indian security forces and Sikh separatist militants at the Golden Temple in Punjab state.  First female majority parliamentIn the period following the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, the population was majority female and in 2003 the government pledged to give women a more prominent position in politics.The country’s constitution that year included the requirement that at least 30 percent of positions of responsibility in government should be occupied by women.In 2008 Rwanda went beyond this quota, becoming the first country in the world to have a majority female parliament.  Progress and glass ceilings In 2020 Germany was the only country in the G7 group to have a woman at its helm, with its Chancellor Angela Merkel. The first woman to head a G7 country was Britain’s Margaret Thatcher in 1979.For the most part however the major powers are still led by men. The United States, Russia, China and Japan have never been led by a woman. First gender parity governmentIn 1995 Sweden became the world’s first gender parity government, made up of eleven women and ten men.Twenty years later Sweden became the first country in the world to describe itself officially as “feminist”, meaning “gender equality is central to the Government’s priorities -– in decision-making and resource allocation”, according to its website.Since then Spain and Canada have made similar moves. First head of government  Sirima Bandaranaike followed in the footsteps of her husband when she took the post of prime minister of Sri Lanka, then known as Ceylon, on July 21, 1960. S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike had become the country’s leader in 1956 but three years later he was assassinated by an extremist Buddhist priest.She remained at the helm till 1965, and would serve another two mandates, from 1970 to 1977, and then when her daughter Chandrika Kumaratunga was president, from 1994 to 2000. In her last term the role of prime minister in the country had become ceremonial.Not long after Bandaranaike, in neighboring India in 1966, Indira Gandhi became the country’s first female prime minister. The daughter of Indian independence icon Jawahrlal Nehru remained in power till 1977 and was then elected again in 1980.  Topics : On July 21, 1960 in Sri Lanka, Sirima Bandaranaike became the world’s first democratically elected female head of government. Here is a look back at sixty years of milestones for women in politics: First elected president In 1980 Iceland became the first country to democratically elect a woman as president, Vigdis Finnbogadottir. Six years earlier in Argentina Isabel Peron had been named president of the country, but without an election.Finnbogadottir was re-elected three times, serving until 1996, and faced no opposition in the elections of 1984 and 1992.The role of president in Iceland is mostly ceremonial and Finnbogadottir focused on raising the country’s profile internationally. Universal suffrage everywhereIn 2015, Saudi Arabia became the last country in the world to give its female citizens the right to vote, some 118 years after New Zealand was the first to do so in 1893.While there have been some reforms, including the lifting of bans on female drivers, women’s rights in the country continue to be among the most restricted in the world.last_img read more

Continue reading

Telefast Indonesia to expand services, targets jobseekers

first_imgHe added that under the Sobat KerjaKU program the company had managed to register 8,800 retail partners to help process applicants’ resumes, which are digitized into a barcode system.Telefast first started its business as a distributor of telecommunication products, such as phone credit, before expanding its business to job matchmaking using its distribution network.The ongoing pandemic has depressed job markets as businesses face a liquidity crunch amid a slowdown in the economy, which has resulted in many employees being furloughed and laid off while companies put hiring new talent on hold.Start-ups, in this case, have conducted similar cost-cutting schemes with big names like Gojek and Grab already downsizing their employees, while other start-ups like Airy have had to close permanently after carrying out mass layoffs. Human resources management solution firm PT Telefast Indonesia plans to expand its services amid rising unemployment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a company executive has said.The publicly listed company said it was expanding its client base through its Telefast Agent Program while concurrently expanding its talent base through a Sobat KerjaKU program where jobseekers can drop off their resume with the company’s outlet partners and be connected to job opportunities.“We are hoping to continue to expand because it will help people in finding jobs,” the company’s president director, Jody Hedrian, said during a livestreamed event on Tuesday. “What differentiates us from other start-ups is that we are not doing a cash burn [strategy],” Jody said, referring to a strategy common to start-ups where they spend capital and book negative cash flow to rapidly expand before reaching a point of profitability.According to the company’s quarterly financial report, its total assets stood at Rp 230.34 billion (US$15.77 million) as of March 31, a slight decrease from Rp 230.67 billion recorded as of Dec. 31, indicating that the company had not spent much on capital expenditure.In a written statement published on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) site on July 9, the company estimated that its revenue could decrease between 25 and 50 percent, while its net profits could be down by less than 25 percent as of June 30 in comparison with the same period last year because of the pandemic.“The company’s clients engaged in the hotel and restaurant industry have been impacted, which has reduced operational activities, and hence, has had an impact on the workers we channel,” the company wrote.As of March 31, the company’s revenue was up by 8.84 percent year-on-year to Rp 146.86 billion from Rp 134.92 billion. Its net profits, however, were down by 58 percent to Rp 2.4 billion from Rp 5.68 billion during the same period.The company’s shares, trading on the IDX under the code TFAS, plunged 3.59 percent to Rp 161 apiece on Wednesday from the previous session. Throughout the year, its share price has fallen by more than 17 percent while the benchmark Jakarta Composite Index (JCI) has lost 18.88 percent of its value.Topics :last_img read more

Continue reading

South Sulawesi policeman probed for alleged sexual harassment against three female officers

first_img“At first, one female police officer mentioned the harassment to her fellow female officers. It turned out that she was not the only victim. Two other female officers were harassed in 2017 and 2020,” Ibrahim said.Read also: Mataram University lecturer suspended over report of alleged sexual harassmentThe three women then reported the case to their superior, who opened an investigation against AM. During a preliminary investigation in which the three women and six witnesses were questioned, Selayar Islands Police chief Sr. Comr. Temmangnganro Machmud decided to remove AM from his post.Ibrahim said Temmangnganro initially tried to mediate the case, but after the three victims insisted on taking the case to court, the South Sulawesi Police agreed to begin the legal process. The South Sulawesi Police’s criminal investigation unit handled the case while the internal affairs division handled the alleged ethical violations. The investigation was still ongoing, Ibrahim said.“The perpetrator claimed that he was only joking, but for the victims what he did was harassment,” he added.The three women have continued their duties at the Selayar Islands Police while getting assistance for trauma healing.Besides the sexual harassment case, the Selayar Police had also named AM a suspect in an illegal logging case. (aly) The South Sulawesi Police have carried out their legal proceedings against the head of the Selayar Islands Police’s criminal investigation unit for allegedly harassing three female police officers who are his subordinates.“The harassment was not physical but verbal through improper words. It offended the dignity and honor of the victims and, therefore, the perpetrator must undergo the legal and ethical process,” South Sulawesi Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Ibrahim Tompo told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.The case came to light after three female police officers reported the officer, identified only as First Insp. AM, 47, for sexual harassment in July.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Continue reading

Australian state bans recorder recitals, school choirs

first_imgChildren will be banned from playing the recorder and singing in school choirs across Australia’s most populous state in a bid to stem the spread of coronavirus, authorities said Monday.With infections hitting several Sydney schools, authorities in New South Wales moved to prohibit choirs and wind ensembles from Wednesday.”All group singing and/or other chanting activities, as well as the use of wind instruments in group settings, are not permitted,” the local education authority said. That includes the recorder — a gateway to instrument playing for many small children — while dancing will also be off-limits.”School formals, dances, graduation or other social events are not permitted,” the New South Wales education department added.Although public schools in Sydney and the rest of New South Wales have reopened after initial lockdowns, authorities said the new measures would help them operate in the “safest ways possible”.Australia is currently battling to contain a number of coronavirus outbreaks after months of near-zero local transmission.  Read also: New Zealand’s COVID-19 outbreak grows, as Australian cases easeThe country’s second-largest city, Melbourne, is in lockdown and still reporting hundreds of new cases daily, although the number is decreasing. Many of Melbourne’s infections have been linked to aged care homes — where death rates are rising following a peak in cases over the last two weeks.Australia has recorded more than 23,000 cases of COVID-19 and 421 fatalities so far in the pandemic.Topics :last_img read more

Continue reading

PREMIUMListyo tops list of police chief candidates, but race remains open

first_imgNational Police chief Gen. Idham Aziz, before all police personnel, made it clear on July 1 that every one of them has the same chance of becoming the next police chief. With that out of the way, he said he expects the police force to remain focused on serving the country.The former chief detective, who will retire in January next year, also warned them not to fall for any false information that suggests otherwise.“There will be a storm of false information coming from all directions. Do not fall for that, keep doing what you do best as policemen,” Idham said during a virtual event that was live streamed to commemorate the 74th anniversary of the National Police on July 1, formally known as Bhayangkara Day, as quoted by Antara news agency.Idham’s speech on his replacement was deemed necessary to minimize the heated tension that usually emerges from the … National-Police chief Idham-Azis LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Log in with your social account Forgot Password ? Google Facebook Topics : Linkedinlast_img read more

Continue reading

OYO Indonesia reports jump in occupancy, aims to settle refunds swiftly

first_imgOYO Indonesia reported a 70 percent increase in occupancy from May, signaling a recovery for the budget hotel operator after months of slumping demand and canceled bookings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.According to OYO Indonesia country stock head Carlo Ongko, the company needed 25 to 30 percent more growth to reach the same occupancy level before the global health crisis.“Our lowest point in terms of occupancy and revenue was in May, but we are recovering to almost the same level before the pandemic,” he said in an online press conference on Tuesday. He went on to say that OYO’s programs, such as Sanitized Stay, which helps hotels adhere to health and safety protocols during the pandemic, has helped increase demand.OYO also opened coffee shop chain Kopi Cinta in some of its hotels to help increase partners’ revenue, Carlo said, adding that the company had processed around 85 percent of the 5,000 refund requests received in the last three months.“We do realize that the pandemic has pushed people to cancel their stay with us. That is why we are improving our refund mechanism; […] by allowing customers to choose between getting their refund via two major e-wallets in Indonesia.”This will shorten the verification process and minimize human error in data input, accelerating the refund process to 15 to 30 days, compared to 45 to 60 days via bank transfer. However, the e-wallet option will only be available for new refund requests made after the mechanism is available next month.OYO Indonesia came under public scrutiny after the Instagram account @oyobikinrugi_ (Oyo makes you lose money) went viral for reposting complaints made by alleged OYO customers about the company’s refund and payment issues.Carlo said OYO acknowledged the complaints brought up by the Instagram account but emphasized that it had protocols in place to deal with such matters.“For example, if the hotel you are staying at is closed or overbooked, we are going to relocate you to the nearest hotel with a similar rating,” he said.Meanwhile, OYO Indonesia external relations and business integrity head Renaldy Martin urged the Instagram account to “stop influencing viewers to [have] negative and biased opinions” of the company.“Our request is quite simple, and we have expressed the matter through legal notices that we sent to [the account].”When asked whether OYO will press charges or consider mediation with the account’s administrator, Renaldy said the company was “still considering all possible, lawful options”.Topics :last_img read more

Continue reading

PREMIUMTwo F-16 jets back in service after midlife upgrades

first_imgLOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Topics : Two of the Indonesian Air Force’s F-16 fighter jets are now back in service after having undergone upgrades to their radar and weapon systems and structures to extend the service life of the 30-year-old aircraft.The upgrades were part of the Structural Augmentation Roadmap (Falcon STAR) and enhanced midlife upgrade (eMLU) programs, supervised by US defense company Lockheed Martin, for F-16 fighters that have been in service since 1990.Under the projects, Air Force technicians modified the F-16 structural frame to extend the service life of the aircraft, giving them an additional 8,000 hours of flight time, or equivalent to 20 years. It was complemented with the eMLU, which modernized the aircraft’s avionics and enabled them to have beyond visual range (BVR) capabilities in launching missiles.The upgrades, carried out at Iswahjudi Air Base in East Java and completed in… Facebook Linkedin Google Log in with your social account Forgot Password ? #F-16 F-16 Air-Force #AirForce #Defense defenselast_img read more

Continue reading

Nervous week ahead for Tour after team staff, race director test positive

first_img“If I’m honest I didn’t really think about testing positive for coronavirus,” said race leader Primoz Roglic of Slovenia.”I’m definitely happy that this beautiful race goes on and I can just wish the Tour director a speedy recovery.”The organizers said race director Prudhomme, who showed no symptoms of COVID-19, would leave the race for a week. Another concern was that French Prime Minister Jean Castex rode in the Tour director’s car for part of Saturday’s stage.Castex’s office said he would be tested for the virus.All team members, riders and staff had until 1100 GMT on Monday, the Tour’s first rest day, to take a test in a mobile laboratory provided by organizers.Four staff members of the Lotto Soudal team left the Tour two days before the start after two of them returned positive tests for COVID-19.Riders have expressed concerns that spectators were not being cautious enough, with some of them running alongside the peloton without wearing masks.This prompted the professional riders’ association (CPA) to issue a statement asking all fans to wear masks.Roglic is the overall leader of the race ahead of defending champion Egan Bernal of Colombia.France has recorded nearly 31,000 deaths from the virus since the pandemic began, according to a Reuters tally.Topics : Four teams at the Tour de France face a nervous week after each learning on Tuesday that a staff member had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, as one more positive within a week would see the whole team excluded from the race.All 22 teams set off on the 10th stage after the riders themselves tested negative, with deputy race director Francois Lemarchand waving the flag for racing to commence in place of his boss Christian Prudhomme – who it emerged had also tested positive.French health authorities and organizers Amaury Sport Organization (ASO) have said that should two members of a team, riders or staff, test positive for the coronavirus the whole outfit will be kicked out of the race. The International Cycling Union (UCI) and the organizers said in a joint statement https://twitter.com/LeTour/status/1303284798786543618 that one staff member each from French outfits Cofidis and AG2R-La Mondiale, Britain’s Team Ineos and Australia’s Mitchelton-Scott contracted the virus.”One of our staffers tested positive, they were tested the day before yesterday (Sunday), and we took all the necessary measures immediately,” said AG2R-La Mondiale team manager Vincent Lavenu.”The person went home. They’re a very cautious person and they were hit by bad luck.”A fourth round of testing for all teams is scheduled to take place in the next rest day in Isere on Sept. 14.last_img read more

Continue reading

Simona Halep crashes out French Open

first_img“I felt like I played a great match,” added Swiatek who will be playing in her first quarter-finals at the majors.It was a stunning turnaround for the Pole who won just one game against Halep at the same stage in Paris last year, getting swept off court in just 45 minutes.”Last year I wasn’t experienced enough, it was my first match in a big stadium so I was a little stressed.”But I have made a lot of progress since then, playing girls like Simona, Naomi and Caroline Wozniacki. Now I can handle the pressure.” Top seed and 2018 champion Simona Halep was sent crashing out of Roland Garros on Sunday when Polish teenager Iga Swiatek stormed to a shock 6-1, 6-2 victory to reach the quarter-finals.Swiatek, just 19 and ranked 54 in the world, will take on either Dutch fifth seed Kiki Bertens or Italian qualifier Martina Trevisan for a place in the semi-finals.”I am surprised I could do this,” admitted Swiatek after ending the 17-match winning streak of Halep who was the overwhelming favourite in the absence of 2019 champion Ashleigh Barty and US Open winner Naomi Osaka and the injury-enforced withdrawal of Serena Williams. Topics :center_img Swiatek swept through the opening set in just 23 minutes, firing 17 winners to Halep’s four.The teenager tightened her grip, breaking in the first game of the second set with Halep having to fight off four break points in the third game to stay afloat.Swiatek’s assault continued against a player who arrived in Paris with claycourt titles in Prague and Rome.Halep, 29, saved five more break points in the fifth game but a weary forehand drifted wide and her Polish opponent was 4-1 up with the cushion of a double break.She took victory on a second match point, ending the tie in 68 minutes on the back of 30 winners and not having allowed Wimbledon champion Halep a single break point.last_img read more

Continue reading