Jakarta | Thu, October 29, 2020 | 2:13 pm

The number of visitors on the resort island of Bali has doubled ahead of the long weekend at the turn of the month. With Maulid (commemoration of the birthday of Prophet Muhammad) falling on Thursday and the government having declared Wednesday and Friday collective leave days, most Indonesians are enjoying a five-day break. Andanina Dyah Permatasari Mega, a spokesperson of state-owned airport operator PT Angkasa Pura I’s Bali airport branch, said the number of passengers arriving in Bali had increased since Sunday.

The Angkasa Pura record reports on Sunday that approximately 4 900 passengers arrived at International Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport. On Monday and Tuesday, the number rose to 5,000, and then to 6,000 on Wednesday, Andanina said. In Ngurah Rai airport there was an average of between 3000 and 3500 passengers per day. The peak of the increase was forecast by Andanina on Wednesday. “The vacation began for officials and state-owned corporations.” 30% of the passengers who arrived in Bali came from Jakarta. The rest were coming from Surabaya, East Java; Makassar, West Nusa Tenggara South Sulawesi and Lombok Island. The speaker said the airport has increased efforts to predict crowds and to improve the protocol on health.

Meanwhile, PT Jasa Marga, the state-owned toll road operator, projected that on Wednesday there would be an increase of cars leaving Jakarta while most of those traveling on Sundays return. The firm announced that on Tuesday two days before Maulid, some 147,000 vehicles left the capital. Speaker Jasa Marga Dwimawan Heru said that the company would limit the number of guests and vehicles permitted to access a relaxing area so that physical distance would be upheld.

The postal service company is working with the police to manage traffic to the calming areas. “We advise road users to comply with health guidelines wherever they are,” says Heru. Jasa Marga halted work on its toll roads for the long weekend. It also has 24-hour service maintenance workers and ensures that every rest area is supplied with water in order to avoid a lack of water during the holidays.

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