For ‘mudik’ ban, authorities to turn back vehicles leaving COVID-19 red zones: official

Traffic jam at a toll road exit during the mudik homecoming exodus in 2016.
Traffic jam at a toll road exit during the mudik homecoming exodus in 2016.

The Transportation Ministry looks set to limit movement out of COVID-19 red zones to enforce the government’s mudik homecoming exodus ban, which was announced by President Joko Widodo this morning.

Related — BREAKING: President Joko Widodo bans ‘mudik’ homecoming exodus due to COVID-19

The ministry’s Land Transportation Director General Budi Setiyadi said that when the ban is in effect, public transportation vehicles and private vehicles will be forced to turn back at road checkpoints, which will be set up on roads leading out of cities with high COVID-19 caseloads.

“Public vehicles, private vehicles, motorcycles will not be allowed out of red zones,” he said today, as quoted by Kompas.

However, Budi said that essential vehicles, such as those carrying logistics, are exempt from the ban.

No similar measures have yet been announced for travel by air, travel, or sea. 

The vast majority of Indonesians who go on mudik — which regularly sees up to 30 million people returning to their hometowns from big cities for the Eid holiday — travel by private vehicles or buses.

Acting Transportation Minister Luhut Pandjaitan says that the government’s mudik ban will come into effect on April 24. The holy fasting month of Ramadan begins on the evening of April 23, while Eid is expected to fall a month after that.

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