Indonesia to ban air, sea travel to early June over COVID-19

Indonesia to ban air, sea travel to early June over COVID-19

A girl wearing a protective face mask and synthetic gloves sits on luggage
A girl wearing a protective face mask and synthetic gloves sits on luggage as she queues for temperature checking amid the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Halim Perdanakusuma airport in Jakarta, Indonesia, Mar 20, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan)

JAKARTA: Indonesia will temporarily ban domestic and international air and sea travel starting on Friday (Apr 24), barring a few exceptions, to prevent further spread of coronavirus, Transport Ministry officials said on Thursday.

The ban on air travel will be in place until Jun 1, Novie Riyanto Rahardjo, Transport Ministry's director general of aviation said. The ban on travel by sea will be in place until Jun 8, sea transportation director general Agus Purnomo said.

Cargo transportation is exempted from the ban, the officials said.

Other exceptions would include flights to repatriate Indonesian and foreign citizens, as well as travel by state officials, diplomatic staff and representatives of international organisations, the officials said.

The country's biggest airlines include state-run Garuda Indonesia and budget carrier Lion Air.

The government is banning Indonesia's traditional annual exodus for Muslim holidays.

Health experts had warned that allowing millions in the world's biggest Muslim-majority country to travel could hasten the spread of COVID-19.

Indonesia on Thursday reported 357 new COVID-19 cases and 11 new deaths, taking the total number of infections and fatalities to 7,775 and 647, respectively.

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Source: Reuters/ec

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