Govt: Saudi Arabia Yet to Release Requirements for Umrah

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Mahinda Arkyasa

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  • Muslims, keeping a safe social distance, perform Umrah at the Grand Mosque after Saudi authorities eased the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions, in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, November 1, 2020. Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS

    Muslims, keeping a safe social distance, perform Umrah at the Grand Mosque after Saudi authorities eased the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions, in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, November 1, 2020. Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaActing Director-General of Hajj and Umrah of the Religious Affairs Ministry Khoirizi H. Dasir, said that the government could not yet ensure the commencement of umrah pilgrimage this year. Issues on Covid-19 vaccines permissible in Saudi Arabia and others, he claimed, remained unclear.

    "We have not received any information from the Saudi government about hajj and umrah in 2021 until now. We are still carrying out diplomacy, lobbying, and coordinating with all existing channels, especially through our representatives in Saudi," said Khoirizi to Tempo on Thursday, April 15, 2021.

    To date, the Saudi government has not yet released an official announcement, Khoirizi informed. This applies not only to Indonesia but all Muslim countries.

    Khoirizi said that Saudi has opened the umrah pilgrimage since the first day of Ramadan. However, participants are limited to only their citizens and expatriates who live there. "On condition that pilgrims have received Covid-19 vaccines, apply health protocols, and register themselves via an app provided by the Saudi government," he explained.

    As for pilgrims from Indonesia, Khorizi said the departure could not be confirmed yet. Aside from the lack of umrah requirements, international flights to and from Saudi Arabia have not been reopened yet. "It is planned to be reopened in May. It is Saudi’s policy," he said.

    EGI ADYATAMA