The Jakarta Post
Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said on Wednesday that it was possible for the government to allow all means of public transportation to start operations on Thursday to accommodate particular individuals while insisting on banning this year’s Idul Fitri mudik (exodus).
His ministry, he added, would issue a circular letter as a derivative regulation of the currently issued Transportation Ministerial Regulation No. 25/2020, which restricts all forms of passenger travel as part of the mudik ban, as the government scrambles to contain COVID-19.
“The point [of the letter] is to further describe [what’s allowed and what’s not allowed in the ban] and not to relax the regulation,” he said during a hearing with the House of Representatives Commission VI overseeing transportation, among other things, on Wednesday.
“It means that it is possible to allow all types of transportation to operate again with one condition: They must comply with health protocols,” Budi added.
The ministerial regulation restricts all passenger travel in and out of COVID-19 red zones, areas that implement large scale social restrictions (PSBB) and agglomeration areas, such as Greater Jakarta and Greater Bandung in West Java, during the period of April 24 to 31. The ban applies to all domestic travel using private cars and motorcycles and public transportation.
Budi Karya, who got back to work earlier this month after contracting COVID-19, said state officials and lawmakers on duty and businesspeople with “essential urgencies” would be allowed to travel. Another group of people with “specific urgencies” that require them to travel somewhere, except for mudik, would also be cleared to travel.
The ministerial regulation indeed sets out several exceptions, in which the transportation of supplies, medicines and medical equipment, as well as fire trucks, ambulances and hearses are still allowed to travel. Operational vehicles for specific missions, such as the repatriation flights and for transporting high-ranking officials, COVID-19 task force officials, government officials, the Indonesian Army and the National Police are also allowed to travel.
However, exemptions for businesspeople or others with “essential urgencies” are not stipulated in the regulation.
“Official like you [lawmakers] have the right to travel. Our ministerial colleagues in Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Papua and Sumatra are allowed to travel if they have to do their jobs, but not for mudik,” Budi said.
“I myself cannot go to Palembang in South Sumatra for mudik, but I can go to Palembang to check the LRT there.
“People with specific needs, such as those who have sick parents or those whose children will get married will be allowed to travel. There are also 10,000 seasonal workers in Jakarta to whom we can give recommendation letters [for traveling].”