Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Transportation Ministry allowed airlines to operate flights on Friday for domestic passengers who had booked tickets prior to the ban on ‘mudik’ came into effect, but asked them to implement COVID-19 health protocols.

"Considering the specific characteristics of air transportation, the airlines were given a chance to fulfill their obligation towards passengers who had made reservations. But, starting from today, there will be no new reservations," the ministry revealed.

Airlines operating international flights have been allowed to continue services for the sake of foreign nationals wanting to return to their countries or Indonesians seeking to return to Indonesia, the ministry's spokesperson, Adita Irawati, said in a statement here on Friday.

All airlines have been asked to implement COVID-19 protocols, Irawati added.

On Thursday, the Indonesian Transportation Ministry had hinted that a temporary ban on use of public transportation, private vehicles, and motorbikes for Idul Fitri homebound travel (‘mudik’) would come into effect at 00:00 Western Indonesia Time (WIB) on Friday, April 24, 2020.

However, the movement of logistics, drugs, officers, fire engines, ambulances, and hearses has been excluded from the ban, stipulated in the Minister of Transportation's Regulation on Transportation Control during Idul Fitri 1441 H Mudik.

The regulation was issued as a follow up to a decision reached during a limited cabinet meeting chaired by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on Tuesday (April 21, 2020), Irawati informed.

The regulation bans public vehicles, private vehicles, and motorbikes from entering and departing from regions implementing 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.

The Jakarta Metropolitan Police started enforcing the temporary ban on homebound travel (‘mudik’) from early Friday.

The Jakarta Metropolitan Police set up checkpoints on the Jakarta-Cikampek toll road from 00.00 a.m. to 05.00 a.m. WIB on Friday for blocking traffic movement, and ordered 1,181 car drivers to turn back.

The checkpoints were set up on the Bitung road heading to Merak and Cikarang Barat road heading to Cikampek, according to director of the Jakarta Metropolitan Police's Traffic Division Sen.Coms. Sambodo Purnomo. (INE)

Related news: Police turn back 1,181 car drivers following "mudik" ban enactment

Related news: Mudik ban to come into effect April 24 midnight


Translator: Juwita TR, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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