A D'Paragon visitor fills in a mandatory Covid-19 questionnaire prior to their stay. (Photo courtesy of D'Paragon)

Boarding House Opens Doors for Mudik Travelers on Self-Quarantine


APRIL 06, 2020

Yogyakarta. Boarding houses are transforming into a self-quarantine lodging for travelers who have to isolate themselves to prevent the spread of coronavirus when they return to their hometowns.

This year, the annual Idul Fitri exodus, known as mudik, has come early due to the pandemic.

Although President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has called on the public to drop their travel plans while issuing a large-scale social distancing order, thousands still think coming home is worth the risk. 

Their excuse for returning to their hometown includes dying businesses in the capital and spiraling layoffs.

For others, abandoning a long-running tradition to see their families is easier said than done.

Returning from red zones such as Jakarta and its satellite cities, these travelers have a high risk of becoming asymptomatic carriers.

To keep the virus under control, returnees will immediately be considered people under surveillance (ODP) and required to self-isolate for 14 days.

With more people looking to self-isolate, exclusive boarding house D'Paragon opens its doors as a self-quarantine lodging for these returnees.

Before securing the key to their room, they must first pass a Covid-19 questionnaire with flying colors.

"This questionnaire is mandatory for every guest. We will give them a refund if they pose a high risk [of carrying the disease]. We are also prioritizing preventive measures through our sterilization equipment," D'Paragon chief executive Muhammad Syarif Hidayat said in Jakarta on Monday.

The questionnaire includes a survey on the guest's immunity record and potential risks of being infected both within and outside their homes.

Guests who have led a healthy lifestyle and developed a habit of wearing masks and exercising will get extra points.

They will also be asked about people they have been in contact with as well as their modes of transportation, Hidayat said.

Based on their answers, the staff will calculate their points and place them into three categories – low, medium and high risk of catching the virus.

If a traveler is placed in the highest category, they will be turned away and given an immediate refund unless they carry a recommendation letter from a hospital.

To contain the contagion, D'Paragon has formed a special force that will tell the authorities when a coronavirus transmission is detected within their premise.

They have also prepared several hygiene measures including frequently spraying disinfectants to the guest rooms and public spaces in each premise.