Indonesia bans internal travel during Hari Raya celebrations

JAKARTA: Indonesia yesterday announced an internal travel ban during next month's Hari Raya celebrations, in an effort to prevent large-scale transmission of the coronavirus, a transport official said.

The world's most populous Muslim-majority nation is gearing up for the start of the holy month of Ramadan next week as it continues to battle one of Asia's highest rates of transmission of Covid-19.

The halt on sea, land, air and rail travel for the May 6 to 17 holiday adds to a ban announced last month by Indonesia on the mass exodus tradition, locally known as "mudik", where vast numbers of people head en masse to their home provinces.

About 27 million respondents of a Transport Ministry survey said they would "mudik" even with a ban in place, said Transport Ministry spokesman Adita Irawati. Indonesia has reported more than 1.55 million cases and 42,200 deaths.

Diplomatic travellers, workers with approval from their superiors and travel to see ailing family members or for bereavement reasons are exempt from the ban. - REUTERS