Umrah pilgrims with full Sinovac dose will need to quarantine

Umrah pilgrims with full Sinovac dose will need to quarantine

A screenshot of Minister of Religious Affairs, Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, during a hearing meeting (RDP) with Commission VIII of the Indonesian House of Representatives on Tuesday (November 30, 2021). (ANTARA/Asep F/DPR RI Youtube/rst)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The latest regulation from the Saudi Arabian authorities requires Umrah pilgrims who have received a full dose of the Sinovac vaccine to undergo a three-day quarantine upon arrival in the Holy Land.

Minister of Religious Affairs Yaqut Cholil Qoumas made the remarks during a hearing meeting (RDP) with Commission VIII of the Indonesian House of Representatives on Tuesday.

"Umrah pilgrims with a full dose of the Sinovac vaccine must undergo three-day quarantine upon their arrival," Qoumas said.

Until now, Saudi Arabia only recognized four types of vaccines, namely Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson, he noted. Those who had received these vaccines could enter the country without having to quarantine first, he said.

Meanwhile, Umrah pilgrims who have received vaccines that are not recognized by Saudi Arabia but are recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) will be required to quarantine for three days, he informed. The majority of Indonesian pilgrims have received Sinovac shots, therefore, they will need to undergo quarantine, he said.

However, Saudi Arabia is allowing pilgrims who have received the Sinovac vaccine to skip quarantine if they have received vaccine boosters from among the four vaccine brands recognized by it, Qoumas said.

Related news: Saudi Arabia lifts entry ban from Indonesia starting on December 1

"Sinovac vaccine pilgrims are allowed to skip quarantine if they have received vaccine boosters from one of the four recognized vaccines at least 14 days before departure," he added.

Saudi Arabia has announced it will lift the suspension of flights from Indonesia, starting December 1, 2021.

This means Indonesian citizens will be able to fly directly to Saudi Arabia without having to transit through a third country, said an official from the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

"The circular issued by the Saudi Arabian aviation authority or the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), dated November 25, 2021, also applies to flights of Umrah pilgrims," director general of Hajj and Umrah organization (PHU) at the Religious Affairs Ministry, Hilman Latief, informed.

However, the departure of Umrah pilgrims can be carried out from December 1, 2021, he said. The authorities need to prepare, including collecting data on Umrah pilgrims and processing their visas, Latief explained.

"Following the lifting of the flight suspension, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and the Hajj Ministry of Saudi Arabia will discuss the technical implementation of Umrah," he added. 

Related news: Indonesians permitted to enter Saudi Arabia without booster vaccine

 

 

 

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