Jakarta – The government will lift a ban on domestic travel during the Muslim holiday season of Idul Fitri in early May, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said on Wednesday, after banning the annual tradition for two years during the pandemic.
The decision to allow the annual exodus after the holy month of Ramadan is the latest in a series of measures aimed at easing COVID-19 restrictions and reviving the country's economy.
The government banned the mass travel known locally as 'mudik' in early 2020 as it scrambled to contain the spread of coronavirus along with the rest of the world.
But millions of people flouted the poorly enforced ban and left urban centres for their home towns and villages, as is the tradition in the predominantly Muslim country.
As COVID cases plateau after peaking in mid-February because of the virulent Omicron variant, authorities are lifting domestic and overseas travel restrictions.
"The improving COVID situation has brought optimism as the Ramadan holy month is upon us," Jokowi told a news conference.
"People who want to go on 'mudik' are now allowed."
Earlier this week, Indonesia dropped quarantine rules for vaccinated foreign arrivals, following similar moves by other countries in the region.