In an effort to curb and contain the spread of COVID-19, Indonesia’s government has decided to temporarily halt all commercial passenger transportation services by air, rail and sea. This ban will come into effect from today (24th April 2020) and continue for at least a month in each case. The three closures were confirmed by members of Indonesia’s Ministry of Transportation in statements yesterday.
Director General of Civil Aviation, Novie Riyanto, announced last night the flight ban is for both domestic and international travel. “For the air transportation sector, I first convey the ban on domestic and foreign travel, both scheduled and charter air transportation from 24th April – 1st June 2020,” she said.
Director General of Sea Transportation, Agus H. Purnomo, also stated the government will stop all passenger ships from operating in Indonesian waters. This restriction came into effect at midnight last night and will stay in place until 8th June, 2020.
Zulfikri, who is Director General of Railways at the Ministry of Transportation, confirmed the immediate cancellation of all long-distance train trips in Indonesia. Localised urban routes and freight trains will continue to operate, though in accordance with the existing PSBB social restrictions.
The ban across Indonesia’s three primary modes of communal transport has been drawn up in an effort to dissuade Indonesian residents from the annual mudik migration, which is traditionally when the nation’s Muslims go home for the Lebaran holidays during or after Ramadhan. The government has officially blocked this practice, concerned it could lead to widespread transmission of the virus.
Regarding the flight ban, Riyanto added that “special arrangements will be made for the repatriation of Indonesian citizens, foreigners […], law enforcement and emergency services of flight officers can still [fly] with the permission of the minister,” she said. The transportation of medical supplies, personnel and logistical services – including cargo – will continue as normal by air.
In Bali, I Gusti Ngurah Rai airport has stated they will halt international and domestic passenger operations for the duration of the ban, and have instructed flyers to contact them directly if they want to refund, reroute or reschedule. Travellers affected should go to www.bali-airport.com.
According to Purnomo, Director General of Sea Transportation, some passenger ships will be excluded from the blockade, including “passenger ships serving the repatriation of Indonesian crew members from abroad, yachts and commercial vessels [from] both foreign and domestic companies,” he explained. Indonesia’s rail networks will follow similar guidelines.
“First, we will cancel all inter-city trains from 24th April to 31st May, 2020,” said Zulfikri, who is Director General of Railways at the Ministry of Transportation (Kemenhub). “Urban trains arranged in and out of Jabodetabek are cancelled; local trains from Purawakarta, Sukabumi are cancelled; outside Jabodetabek, local PSBB will be adjusted,” he added. The Director General also confirmed that passengers affected by the sudden cancellation will be compensated. “Tickets that have been ordered must be refunded 100%,” said Zulfikri.
To sum up, Indonesia’s train, flight and shipping networks will be put into shutdown for the duration of the Ramadhan month, in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 due to citizens travelling home for the holidays. See below for confirmation of the dates in each case. All closures begin from today (24/4).
Rail: Closed until 31st May | Air: Closed until 1st June | Sea: Closed until 8th June
For an overview of travel in Indonesia and the ways in which it has been affected by the pandemic, read our latest COVID-19 Situation Report: Indonesia. To follow the news as it happens in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam, you can get the latest updates via our social media channels: