Ministry conducts airport monitoring, anticipates impact of Umrah ban

Ministry conducts airport monitoring, anticipates impact of Umrah ban

Umrah pilgrims heading to the planes at Sepinggan Airport in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan. The Saudi Arabian government has temporarily halted umrah services for foreigners amid the coronavirus outbreak. (ANTARA/Novi Abdi/ac).

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's Religious Affairs Ministry dispatched officers to supervise airports as a precautionary measure against Umrah pilgrims being likely held at the airport following the Saudi Arabian government's policy to temporarily suspend Umrah services for foreigners.

The decision was made by the Saudi Arabian government amid the widespread transmission of coronavirus, or the COVID-19.

"Based on the reports we receive from the ground at the airports, Garuda Indonesia, Saudia, Citilink, and Lion Air airlines are still operating in accordance with their schedules today," Ubaidillah Amin Moch, special staff to the religious affairs minister, noted in a statement received here, Thursday.

Moch remarked that the ministry had communicated with the Government of Saudi Arabia in connection with the implementation of a new Kingdom policy targeted at fending off the spread of the new coronavirus.

"The Ministry of Religious Affairs is awaiting further information from the Saudi government," he stated.

He further added that the ministry had urged the management of the Umrah travel agency to proactively convey information to pilgrims on the Saudi Arabian policy that entails the temporary suspension of the issuance of the Umrah visa.

"A halt has been imposed on the filing of Umrah visas and other visas to Saudi Arabia from today," he stated.

He called on Indonesian pilgrims to remain patient for the Government of Saudi Arabia to reopen Umrah services for pilgrims from outside its territory. Related news: President respects Saudi Arabia's provisional ban on Umrah services

Related news: Religious Affairs Ministry revokes permits of two umrah companies


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