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Southeast Asia Clamps Down on Ramadan on Risk of Covid Surge

  • Indonesia, Malaysia restrict travel ahead of Eid holiday
  • Limited supplies have forced both nations to slow vaccination
People pray during Ramadan at the Istiqlal mosque in Jakarta on April 22.

People pray during Ramadan at the Istiqlal mosque in Jakarta on April 22.

Photographer: Adek Berry/AFP/Getty Images

Updated on

Southeast Asia’s biggest predominantly Muslim nations are tightening movement restrictions to avert a surge in Covid-19 infections around the Ramadan holidays.

Indonesia and Malaysia will limit travels toward the end of the month-long fasting period which typically sees more than 81 million people head home to regional towns from urban centers, a holiday migration similar to Thanksgiving in the U.S. or Lunar New Year in China. Violators could face fines or jail time, though exemptions will be allowed for emergencies.