Kemenhub Urges Passengers to Resume Mask Usage Amidst the Surge in Covid-19 Cases


As the spread of Covid-19 continues to rise in Indonesia, the Ministry of Transportation (Kemenhub) has opted not to implement travel restrictions ahead of the anticipated Christmas and New Year holiday season in 2024. However, the ministry has issued a series of recommendations, notably urging travelers to reinstate the use of masks.

Adita Irawati, the spokesperson for Kemenhub, highlighted that extensive meetings were held with relevant stakeholders, including the Ministry of Health, to address the escalating Covid-19 situation in the country. Following these discussions and taking into account the current circumstances, Adita indicated that Kemenhub would adopt mitigating measures in the form of advisories and suggestions for prospective passengers, transportation operators, and other involved parties.

“Considering the situation, our current focus is on providing recommendations and intensifying supervision,” Adita stated during a press briefing at the Kemenhub headquarters in Jakarta on Tuesday (19/12/2023).

Among the recommendations is the encouragement for prospective passengers to once again wear masks and remain vigilant regarding the resurgent spread of Covid-19. Kemenhub is also advising travelers to uphold cleanliness practices to mitigate the potential spread of the virus.

Additionally, prospective passengers are being urged to complete their Covid-19 vaccinations. Referring to the Circular of the Minister of Transportation No. 17/2023, which outlines health protocols for travelers using railway transportation during the Covid-19 endemic transition period, the public is encouraged to receive Covid-19 vaccinations up to the second booster or fourth dose.

Furthermore, Kemenhub is requesting operators of transportation modes to enhance supervision of service users. Operators are instructed to advise passengers to adhere to health protocols, such as wearing masks and following other recommended practices.

Moreover, operators are expected to ensure that the vaccination status of their staff complies with applicable regulations.

“It’s important to note that these are still recommendations and haven’t been mandated. They are advisory in nature,” Adita emphasized.

Another mitigation measure being considered by Kemenhub is the reinstatement of thermal scanners at several airports. Adita mentioned that one of the airports where thermal scanners might be reintroduced is Soekarno-Hatta Airport. However, discussions on the installation are ongoing with various stakeholders, including airport operators, authorities, Airport Health Offices (KKP), and others.