Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Religious Affairs Ministry has urged associations of Umrah Travel Organizers (PPIU) and Special Hajj Organizers (PIHK) to participate in disseminating the latest policy from the government of Saudi Arabia regarding Hajj pilgrimage requirements in 2022.

"I ask for help from the PPIU or PIHK to be able to disseminate information to pilgrims," director general of Hajj and Umrah organizers at the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Hilman Latief, said in a written statement received here on Monday.

Earlier, Saudi Arabia had announced that the 2022 Hajj would be attended by one million pilgrims from various countries.

Although it has opened Hajj pilgrimage for foreign pilgrims, Saudi Arabia has laid down two conditions. First, pilgrims must be a maximum of 65 years old and have received a complete dose of COVID-19 vaccination approved by the Saudi Ministry of Health.

Second, pilgrims traveling from abroad must have a certificate showing negative PCR results, with the test taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure.

Related news: Indonesia to optimize any provided Hajj pilgrim quota in 2022

He said that the pilgrimage requirement related to the maximum age must be disseminated to older adults. The associations must educate them that there are prospective pilgrims who can depart and those who cannot depart yet, he added.

He admitted that initially, the ministry had prepared a scenario prioritizing elderly pilgrims. However, the Saudi Arabian government has set the maximum age at 65 years.

Meanwhile, regarding the quota, he affirmed that the ministry is still waiting for an official announcement from Saudi Arabia. Nevertheless, he asserted, the government is ready to send whatever quota will be given later.

"Create a narrative to encourage our prospective (Hajj) pilgrims who, Inshallah (if God wills), will depart this year. We must also encourage those who will depart next year," he remarked.

Related news: Indonesian government to finalize hajj cost soon

Translator: Asep Firmansyah, Raka Adji
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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