"What we do is blocking (the flow of vehicles of mudik travelers) and not closing the toll road," Director of the Central Java Police's Traffic Division Sen. Coms. Subandriya notified journalists on the sidelines of his visit to the Kalikangkung Toll Gate in Semarang on Friday.
Police officers, deployed to ensure enforcement of the government's temporary ban on mudik travelers during the fasting month of Ramadhan and Idul Fitri holiday season, will thoroughly check the incoming cars, he noted.
"If they are categorized as homebound travelers, they will be urged to turn back," he stated, adding that the police will check the cars at the Pejagan toll road section, but if not possible, then they would be stopped at the Brebes Timur Toll Gate.
To this end, the Central Java Police had coordinated with the police precincts near the toll road and non-toll road sections by forming nine checkpoints in areas, such as Cilacap and Brebes, for vehicles heading to and coming from West Java, Magelang, and Prambanan that share borders with Yogyakarta as well as Wonogiri, Sragen, Blora, and Rembang as a precautionary measure to handle the flow of vehicles from and to East Java.
The first phase of this "mudik" ban policy will be in force for 14 days, and no legal sanctions will be slapped during this time since it aims to edify road users. The legal sanctions will be imposed during the second phase, he stated.
Earlier, on Thursday, the Indonesian Transportation Ministry had hinted that the temporary ban on the use of means of 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, clarified 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.
Related news: 'Mudik' ban: Airlines allowed to operate domestic flights on Friday
Related news: Ministry readies legal basis for implementation of mudik ban
EDITED BY INE