The Saudi Arabian government has finally allowed Indonesian pilgrims to perform Umrah after temporarily ‘banned’ the country due to the ongoing pandemic.
The Saudi Arabian government conveyed this good news through a Diplomatic Note sent to the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Jakarta on Friday, October 8, 2021.
According to the Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi, the reopening of the Umrah gate had gone through quite a long discussion between the two parties and considering the progress of handling COVID-19 in Indonesia, which is also getting better.
Retno added that the special committee at the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is currently working to minimize obstacles preventing Indonesian Umrah pilgrims from carrying out their pilgrimage.
The Diplomatic Note also stated that the two parties were in the final stages of discussing the exchange of technical relations with Indonesia. The note includes rules related to vaccines and considerations to determine a shorter health quarantine policy of less than a week, which is five days for pilgrims who do not fulfil the required health standards.
The Umrah pilgrims from Indonesia must follow the regulations during the pandemic, including vaccinations and maintaining health.
Retno later explained that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would continue to coordinate with the Ministry of Religion and the Ministry of Health and relevant authorities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia further to discuss the technical implementation of this new policy.
Chairman of the Central Executive Board of the Association of Indonesian Hajj and Umrah Organizers (AMPHURI), Firman M Nur, said that his party would immediately re-evaluate the existing Umrah mitigation plan’s preparation comply with the standards set by the Saudi Arabian government.
Firman also emphasized that the focus now is prioritizing sending Umrah pilgrims who have been postponed since February last year.