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Huge traffic jams as Indonesia's Eid al-Fitr holiday exodus starts

Huge traffic jams as Indonesia's Eid al-Fitr holiday exodus starts

Saturday, April 30, 2022, 11:20 GMT+7
Huge traffic jams as Indonesia's Eid al-Fitr holiday exodus starts
A general view of a traffic jam at a toll booth of a highway as Indonesian Muslims going back to their hometown for celebrating Eid al-Fitr known locally as ‘Mudik’ in Karawang Regency, on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia, April 28, 2022. Picture taken with a drone. Photo: Reuters

JAKARTA -- Tens of millions of Indonesian Muslims are expected to travel back to their hometowns to celebrate Eid al-Fitr in coming days, with traffic jams of up to 10km already starting to form on some routes out of the capital Jakarta. 

The decision to once again allow mass travel home, known locally as "mudik", comes after authorities banned the tradition in the past two years to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the Southeast Asian nation of 270 million people. 

Drone footage this week showed long lines of cars crawling along on either side of toll booths at one of the main highways out of Jakarta. 

People wait for the buses at Kampung Rambutan bus terminal, as Indonesian Muslims travel home to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, known locally as 'Mudik', in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 29, 2022. Photo: Reuters
People wait for the buses at Kampung Rambutan bus terminal, as Indonesian Muslims travel home to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, known locally as 'Mudik', in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 29, 2022. Photo: Reuters

Passengers were also starting to throng train and bus stations to complete their trek home.

"It will be nice to be able to see the family as... it's been two years and we haven't been able to go home," said Tri Wahyuni, 24, who was waiting at the Pasar Senen train station in Jakarta to head to her hometown of Lampung on Sumatera island. 

Cars queue to board the ship for Sumatra island as Indonesian Muslims travel home to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, known locally as 'Mudik', at Merak port in Cilegon, Banten, Indonesia, April 29, 2022, in this photo taken with a drone by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Akbar Nugroho Gumay/via Reuters
Cars queue to board the ship for Sumatra island as Indonesian Muslims travel home to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, known locally as 'Mudik', at Merak port in Cilegon, Banten, Indonesia, April 29, 2022, in this photo taken with a drone by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Akbar Nugroho Gumay/via Reuters

Earlier this month, President Joko Widodo said on Twitter data showed at least 79 million Indonesians intended to go home for Eid al-Fitr this year.

For the past two years, the world's largest Muslim-majority nation has grappled with one of the highest rates of coronavirus infections in Asia, but in recent months it has loosened many of its pandemic restrictions after a sharp drop in infections. 

People wait for the buses at Kampung Rambutan bus terminal, as Indonesian Muslims travel home to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, known locally as 'Mudik', in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 29, 2022. Photo: Reuters
People wait for the buses at Kampung Rambutan bus terminal, as Indonesian Muslims travel home to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, known locally as 'Mudik', in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 29, 2022. Photo: Reuters

Some local travellers, however, remained cautious about the risks from COVID-19, though pointed to higher vaccination levels and the lower caseload. 

"Hopefully in the future, there will be no COVID. Hopefully we can go home every year," said Sri Suyanti, 35, another train passenger who was waiting with her daughters.

A woman walks with a child at Kampung Rambutan bus terminal, as Indonesian Muslims travel home to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, known locally as 'Mudik', in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 29, 2022. Photo: Reuters
A woman walks with a child at Kampung Rambutan bus terminal, as Indonesian Muslims travel home to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, known locally as 'Mudik', in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 29, 2022. Photo: Reuters
A general view of a traffic jam at a toll booth of a highway as Indonesian Muslims return to their hometowns to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, known locally as 'Mudik', in Karawang Regency, on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia, April 28, 2022. Picture taken with a drone. Photo: Reuters
A general view of a traffic jam at a toll booth of a highway as Indonesian Muslims return to their hometowns to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, known locally as 'Mudik', in Karawang Regency, on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia, April 28, 2022. Picture taken with a drone. Photo: Reuters

JAKARTA -- Tens of millions of Indonesian Muslims are expected to travel back to their hometowns to celebrate Eid al-Fitr in coming days, with traffic jams of up to 10km already starting to form on some routes out of the capital Jakarta. 

The decision to once again allow mass travel home, known locally as "mudik", comes after authorities banned the tradition in the past two years to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the Southeast Asian nation of 270 million people. 

Drone footage this week showed long lines of cars crawling along on either side of toll booths at one of the main highways out of Jakarta. 

People wait for the buses at Kampung Rambutan bus terminal, as Indonesian Muslims travel home to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, known locally as 'Mudik', in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 29, 2022. Photo: Reuters
People wait for the buses at Kampung Rambutan bus terminal, as Indonesian Muslims travel home to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, known locally as 'Mudik', in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 29, 2022. Photo: Reuters

Passengers were also starting to throng train and bus stations to complete their trek home.

"It will be nice to be able to see the family as... it's been two years and we haven't been able to go home," said Tri Wahyuni, 24, who was waiting at the Pasar Senen train station in Jakarta to head to her hometown of Lampung on Sumatera island. 

Cars queue to board the ship for Sumatra island as Indonesian Muslims travel home to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, known locally as 'Mudik', at Merak port in Cilegon, Banten, Indonesia, April 29, 2022, in this photo taken with a drone by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Akbar Nugroho Gumay/via Reuters
Cars queue to board the ship for Sumatra island as Indonesian Muslims travel home to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, known locally as 'Mudik', at Merak port in Cilegon, Banten, Indonesia, April 29, 2022, in this photo taken with a drone by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Akbar Nugroho Gumay/via Reuters

Earlier this month, President Joko Widodo said on Twitter data showed at least 79 million Indonesians intended to go home for Eid al-Fitr this year.

For the past two years, the world's largest Muslim-majority nation has grappled with one of the highest rates of coronavirus infections in Asia, but in recent months it has loosened many of its pandemic restrictions after a sharp drop in infections. 

People wait for the buses at Kampung Rambutan bus terminal, as Indonesian Muslims travel home to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, known locally as 'Mudik', in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 29, 2022. Photo: Reuters
People wait for the buses at Kampung Rambutan bus terminal, as Indonesian Muslims travel home to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, known locally as 'Mudik', in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 29, 2022. Photo: Reuters

Some local travellers, however, remained cautious about the risks from COVID-19, though pointed to higher vaccination levels and the lower caseload. 

"Hopefully in the future, there will be no COVID. Hopefully we can go home every year," said Sri Suyanti, 35, another train passenger who was waiting with her daughters.

A woman walks with a child at Kampung Rambutan bus terminal, as Indonesian Muslims travel home to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, known locally as 'Mudik', in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 29, 2022. Photo: Reuters
A woman walks with a child at Kampung Rambutan bus terminal, as Indonesian Muslims travel home to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, known locally as 'Mudik', in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 29, 2022. Photo: Reuters
A general view of a traffic jam at a toll booth of a highway as Indonesian Muslims return to their hometowns to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, known locally as 'Mudik', in Karawang Regency, on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia, April 28, 2022. Picture taken with a drone. Photo: Reuters
A general view of a traffic jam at a toll booth of a highway as Indonesian Muslims return to their hometowns to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, known locally as 'Mudik', in Karawang Regency, on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia, April 28, 2022. Picture taken with a drone. Photo: Reuters

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