TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian Consulate General in Jeddah (KJRI Jeddah) appealed to prospective pilgrims from Indonesia to postpone minor hajj or umrah.
“For now, it is best to postpone it so that the Covid-19 pandemic in Indonesia can be handled well,” said the Indonesian Consul General in Jeddah, Eko Hartono, to Antara on Monday, July 26.
The Saudi Arabia government reopened the umrah service for pilgrims abroad starting August 10, 2021, under a number of requirements. Pilgrims from nine countries, including Indonesia, must undergo quarantine for 14 days in a third country before arriving in the Kingdom.
The nine countries are India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Egypt, Turkey, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, and Lebanon.
Eko opined that it is possible for Indonesian would-be pilgrims to undergo quarantine in a third country but the process will take a longer time and will be costly. “Besides, restrictions on movement during worship due to health protocols will be uncomfortable for some,” he added.
The Religious Affairs Ministry would use diplomacy so that prospective umrah pilgrims from Indonesia get concessions. Other than the compulsory quarantine, Saudi Arabia also asked those who received Covid-19 vaccines from China, such as Sinovac, to get a booster or a third injection.