Jakarta. The Indonesian government bans its citizens in areas severely affected by the coronavirus outbreak from leaving for other cities and limits travels in other areas to logistics and medical supplies, effective from Friday when Muslims begin to observe Ramadan.
“Sea, air, land and railway transportations are temporarily banned from entering or leaving areas where the large-scale social restrictions [PSBB] apply, the red zones of Covid-19 outbreak, Greater Jakarta and other affected areas,” Adita Irawati, a spokesperson for the Transportation Ministry, said in a televised address on Thursday.
“Transportations of logistics, basic commodities, and medical supplies, as well as fire trucks, ambulances and law enforcement vehicles are exempt from this ban,” she said.
With all 34 provinces being affected by the outbreak, the travel restrictions basically apply nationwide.
Adita said the decision was made during a cabinet meeting led by President Joko Widodo on Tuesday.
The Ramadan exodus or locally known as mudik, when people return to their hometown to celebrate Idul Fitri or the day after Ramadan, is strictly banned, she said.
In the first two weeks of Ramadan, any traveler will be asked to return to the place from where they depart, she said. Afterwards, offenders will be slapped with sanctions which include a fine, but Adita didn’t specify the amount.
Railway services will be closed until June 15, public land transportations other than railway won’t operate until May 31, she said. Air travels and sea transportations are banned until June 1 and June 8, respectively.
“The regulation comes into force at 00.00 Indonesian western time on Friday,” she said.
“Starting tonight, all related agencies will move to enforce the regulation, whose main purposes are to ensure our safety and contain the spread of the Covid-19 disease across Indonesia,” Adita said.