From 00:00 a.m. to 5 a.m. Western Indonesia Time (WIB), 1,181 car drivers were forced to turn back at two blocking locations
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Jakarta Metropolitan Police forced 1,181 car drivers to turn back while passing by the police's checkpoints for blocking vehicles on the Jakarta-Cikampek toll road following the government’s temporary homebound travel (mudik) ban, early Friday.

"From 00:00 a.m. to 5 a.m. Western Indonesia Time (WIB), 1,181 car drivers were forced to turn back at two blocking locations," Director of the Jakarta Metropolitan Police's Traffic Division Sen. Coms. Sambodo Purnomo stated.

The checkpoints for blocking the flow of vehicles during the enforcement of temporary ban on homebound travel are located at Bitung heading to Merak and Cikarang Barat heading to Cikampek, he revealed.

The police stopped and turned back 498 vehicles at the Bitung checkpoint and 683 vehicles at Cikarang Barat, he stated.

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The blocking operation was conducted as part of the 2020 "Ketupat Jaya" to ensure public safety and the implementation of the government's decision to ban homebound travel to contain the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), he explained.

"We have conducted the operation since 00:00 a.m. local time on early Friday," he noted, pointing to the high number of vehicles passing by the Jakarta-Cikampek toll road heading to Cikampek.

Purnomo has forecast that 25 thousand cars would be traveling from Jakarta to Cikampek through the Cikarang Utama Toll Gate on April 23 and 27 thousand on early Friday.

Earlier, on Thursday, the Indonesian Transportation Ministry had hinted that the temporary ban on using public transportation, private vehicles, and motorbikes for mudik would come into effect on Friday, April 24, at 00:00 WIB.

However, the ministry's spokeswoman Adita Irawati, noted that the transportation of logistics, drugs, officers, fire engines, ambulances, and hearses were excluded from the ban, as stipulated in the Minister of Transportation's Regulation on Transportation Control during the Idul Fitri 1441 H Mudik.

The regulation was issued to follow up on a decision made during a limited cabinet meeting chaired by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on Tuesday (April 21).

The regulation bans public vehicles, private vehicles, and motorbikes from entering and departing from regions enacting the Large Scale Social Distancing (PSBB) measures and regions demarcated as COVID-19 red zones, such as Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi.

The ban applies until May 31, 2020, for land transportation; June 15, 2020, for railway transportation; June 8, 2020, for sea transportation; and June 1, 2020, for air transportation.

"This ban can be extended depending on the situation of the COVID-19 outbreak," she remarked.
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Translator: Andi F, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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