TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Saudi Arabia will finally open the minor hajj or umrah pilgrimage gradually following months of suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic. For the earlier stage, a limited number of citizens and residents in the kingdom will be allowed to perform the umrah.
“In its announcement, Saudi will release a list of countries that will get the permit to send pilgrims. So we are waiting for the release. Hopefully, Indonesia will be on the list,” said Nizar, Director-General for Hajj and Umrah at the Ministry of Religious Affairs, in a written statement on Wednesday, September 23.
According to Nizar, the ministry has been coordinating with the hajj consul of the Indonesian Consulate General in Jeddah, airlines, and umrah travel operators (PPIU) regarding the preparation of umrah that has been suspended since February 27, 2020, and the health protocols implementation to prevent Covid-19 transmission.
“We have asked the Indonesian Consulate General to monitor the possibility of Indonesia getting the permit to send pilgrims. The coordination with PPIU and airlines continues. We ask the priority for registered pilgrims whose umrah schedules were delayed,” said Nizar.
The Religious Affairs Ministry's Umrah and Special Hajj Director, Arfi Hatim, said his side was still preparing the pilgrimage while waiting for the release.
“We carry out dissemination to PPIU and pilgrims on health protocols. We also ask PPIU to educate pilgrims about the health protocols during the umrah rehearsals,” said Arfi.