Umrah Program Postponed as Saudi Arabia Issues Another Ban

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Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • Muslims, keeping a safe social distance, perform Umrah at the Grand Mosque after Saudi authorities ease the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions, in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, November 1, 2020. Saudi Arabia allows worshippers from other countries to perform the Umrah pilgrimage in Mecca starting on Sunday (November 1) as the kingdom relaxes measures it had taken to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS

    Muslims, keeping a safe social distance, perform Umrah at the Grand Mosque after Saudi authorities ease the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions, in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, November 1, 2020. Saudi Arabia allows worshippers from other countries to perform the Umrah pilgrimage in Mecca starting on Sunday (November 1) as the kingdom relaxes measures it had taken to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Saudi Arabia ministry of interior on February 2 has issued a new Covid-19-related policy banning the entry of international flights with Indonesia being one of the 20 countries that the monarch bans. 

    This policy is officially implemented today on Wednesday, February 3, until an undetermined time. There are exceptions for Saudi citizens who are on return flights back to the country such as diplomats, healthcare workers, and relatives of the aforementioned people. 

    Head of the Indonesian Umrah program Zaky Zakaria Anshary in a written statement on February 3 said that “the decision is concerning as the umrah organizers or PPIU are amidst highly promoting the umrah program and preparing to send people to umrah pilgrimage after Saudi Arabia released an age restriction from 18-60 on January 22, 2021.”

    Anshary hopes that ban would be lifted soon and have the Muslim community in Indonesia to departure for umrah pilgrimage. Other countries that are banned from entering Saudi Arabia include Argentina, United Arab Emirates, Germany, United States, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Pakistan, Brazil, Portugal, England, Turkey, South Africa, Sweden, Swiss, France, Lebanon, Egypt, India, and Japan.  

    Also Read: Indonesian Umrah Pilgrims Stuck as Saudi Arabia Closes its Borders

    DEWI NURITA