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Will Indonesia’s' Home for the Holidays Lebaran Travel' be Banned for 2020?

Ministry of Transportation Considering Potential Effects on Peak Lebaran Holiday Travel if COVID-19 Crisis Continues into Second Half of May 2020

Kompas.com reports that the Indonesian Government is currently discussing the possible implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the traditional mass homecoming travel that accompanies each Lebaran Holiday.

The homecoming "mudik" period covering the end of the Moslem Fasting Month is traditionally the busiest travel period in Indonesia each year. In 2020, due to the convergence of existing holidays and the addition of "shared holidays," the "mudik travel period" will stretch from 22 May until 01 June.

Officials at the Ministry of Transportation are reviewing what, if any, impact the COVID-19 Pandemic might have if measures to prevent the spread of the virus are still in operation in May during the Idul-Fitri peak travel period. A member of the Transport Minister's expert staff, Adita Irawati, said various options were being examined, including operating "mudik" normally as it has in the past, modifying homecoming travel, or even forbidding "mudik" travel altogether if the threat of contagion remains a concern at that time. Adita emphasized that at this stage only discussions are currently taking place, and no decision has been taken yet. 

If the danger of COVID-19 contagion continues through the mudik holiday period, travel might have to be curtailed or forbidden due to the contagion threat from the mass movement of millions of people undertaking homecoming travel.

With every consideration now on the table, Adita said the Government's focus is on how to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. To this end, a special team at the Ministry of Transportation has been formed to consider private and public transport available for "mudik travelers" and discuss if travel over the peak holiday period might be forbidden or somehow controlled.

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