Passengers were queuing up in large numbers at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport’s Terminal 2 this morning, prompting concerns over the complete absence of social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Transportation Ministry has banned domestic and international commercial flights throughout Indonesia since the end of last month following the government’s mudik homecoming exodus ban, which is expected to last until June 1.
Though the flight suspensions still allow certain parties to travel, only a limited number of commercial flights are currently available. Speaking to Kumparan, one unidentified passenger with a flight to Semarang said the queue to reach the waiting room took around 55 minutes, adding that it took him about two-and-a-half hours to acquire his boarding pass since first arriving at the airport.
“The queue stretched all the way from gate 4 to gate 5. At the front, the queue was winding [unchecked] and it wasn’t visible from [where I was] due to the distance,” the passenger said, adding how it felt like there was no air conditioning inside the terminal building while he was queueing.
Photos of the crowded terminal at the airport taken today have gone viral today, with many netizens venting their frustrations at the perceived inability of Indonesians to carry out social distancing amid the pandemic.
Kombinasi ketidakbijaksanaan pemerintah Indonesia dan rakyatnya yang oportunis dan gegabah akan membuat negeri ini yang terakhir selamat dari pandemi ini.
Berdamai dengan virus katanya, udah McD sekarang ini Bandara CGK 🤦♂️ pic.twitter.com/euxy9ENvyH
— Adriansyah Yasin Sulaeman (@adriansyahyasin) May 14, 2020
The waiting rooms were reportedly fully occupied by passengers of Batik Air with destinations to Surabaya, Malang, Medan, Padang, Semarang, as well as those who were flying with Citilink.
According to PT Angkasa Pura II, the state-owned company that manages Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta Airport, passengers are required to present three documents to be allowed to fly. This policy refers to Transportation Ministry regulations and a circular from the ministry’s Air Transport Directorate General issued this year.
“[Passengers must] arrive at the airport with three documents, the departure ticket and a letter stating their reason for travel [is not personal], signed by their superiors,” PT Angkasa Pura II’s president director Muhammad Awaluddin said in a live interview.
“The third one is a COVID-19-free statement of health.”
Passengers are expected to show these documents to airport authorities and Health Ministry officials stationed at the port of departure. Failure to present the documents will result in passengers being denied boarding.