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January 4, 2021, 03.29 PM – Indonesia’s Religious Affairs Ministry said it would not temporarily send its citizens to perform umrah (minor haj) despite the Saudi Arabia government has eased the suspension of international flights after a new variant of Covid-19 was found in the UK.

“There is no new schedule for umrah departure in the near future,” the ministry’s acting director-general of umrah and haj, Oman Fathurahman, told on Sunday, January 3.

The ministry’s umrah and special haj director, Arfi Hatim, concurred with Oman, saying that there is no further information on the umrah pilgrimage. “We are still waiting for the official information,” Arfi said on Sunday.

Also readGaruda Indonesia Cancels Flights to Saudi Arabia

Meanwhile, Zaki Zakariya, who is the head of the umrah division at the Association of Indonesia Haj and Umrah Organizers (Amphuri), said that the minor haj could be performed after Indonesian airports were reopened for international flights.

“Officially, today on January 3, 2021, [the Saudi government] has lifted the suspension on international travel. InsyaAllah [God willing] after the Indonesian airports have been reopened for international flights on January 14, pilgrims can perform umrah again,” Zaki told on Sunday.

Also readIndonesia Eyes UAE, Saudi Investments to Aid Economic Recovery Post-Pandemic

After the Saudi government closed its borders, it was reported that over 200 umrah pilgrims from Indonesia were stuck in Saudi last December. Currently, two Indonesian pilgrims have not been able to return home as they are still self-isolating.

“There are only two Indonesian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia as they are still in isolation. While, eight others have arrived home this morning and in the quarantine process,” Oman said.

(Writer: Nur Fitriatus Shalihah | Editor: Rizal Setyo Nugroho)




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