TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Religious Affairs Ministry is preparing the 2021 hajj pilgrimage and plans to depart the first group on June 15 if possible. Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, or known as Gus Yaqut, thus wrote to the Health Minister on Jan. 5, asking for health protection support for Indonesian pilgrims.
“To ensure and provide protection, we ask the 2021 pilgrims to be prioritized in the Covid-19 vaccination,” said Yaqut in a written statement on Tuesday, Jan. 19.
According to the minister, the vaccine priority for pilgrims was necessary given some consideration. First, Saudi Arabian authorities would likely reject those who have not been inoculated. Second, it would require time, place, and cost for quarantine if they have not received the vaccine.
The third factor was pilgrims would be obliged to pass the PCR swab test before and after arrival in Saudi Arabia. “And fourth, they must comply with the physical distancing rule during the embarkation, throughout the flight, while in Saudi Arabia, and while arriving in the country,” he explained.
Gus Yaqut said his side was waiting for the Health Ministry’s response on the request. “We hope this can be carried out soon, particularly right after the Saudi Arabia government makes a decision regarding the implementation of the 2021 hajj and the quota,” the minister said.