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Jakarta Post

COVID-19: More than 1,000 motorists asked to turn around as 'mudik' ban begins

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, April 25, 2020   /   10:11 am
COVID-19: More than 1,000 motorists asked to turn around as 'mudik' ban begins People wait in line to obtain refunds for train tickets at Senen railway station in Central Jakarta on Thursday. State-owned railway operator PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI) has suspended services for local and long distance routes following the Idul Fitri exodus ban imposed on April 24. (JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)

Jakarta Police asked around 1,200 motorists attempting to leave Greater Jakarta to turn around in the first five hours of toll road closures on Friday, following the government’s Idul Fitri mudik (exodus) ban.

“From 12 a.m. to 5 a.m., we asked 1,181 motorists to turn around, that is 498 motorists at the Bitung toll gate heading to Merak, Banten and 683 motorists at the Cikarang toll gate heading toward West Java,” Jakarta Police traffic director Sr. Comr. Sambodo Purnomo Yogo said in a written statement on Friday as quoted by kompas.com.

The vehicle checks are being conducted at 18 posts in border areas. From April 24 to May 7, vehicles attempting to leave Greater Jakarta will be asked to turn around. Fines will be imposed starting May 8.

He also said traffic police had noted that the volume of vehicles leaving Jakarta had increasing in the two days prior to the official mudik ban.

Read also: COVID-19: 'Mudik' risks mass contagion across Java

“The volume of vehicles recorded at the Cikampek main toll gate, for example, increased to 25,797 on Wednesday from 18,753 vehicles on Tuesday,” Sambodo said.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced on Tuesday that people would be banned from participating in the annual Idul Fitri exodus to further stem the spread of COVID-19. The decision came based on field research and a survey conducted by the Transportation Ministry that showed 24 percent of respondents insisted on returning to their hometowns for Lebaran.  

Annually, some 20 million people nationwide travel to their hometowns to celebrate Idul Fitri with their families. (aly)