“May God bless us to provide the best service for Umrah pilgrims as well as for the nation and state,” Director General of Hajj and Umrah from the Religious Affairs Ministry Hilman Latief said in a written statement, Antara news agency reported.
Latief later remarked that the initial plan for the Umrah departure had been set for December 2021. However, the ministry postponed the plan due to the COVID-19 situation in the country at the end of 2021.
For the first Umrah pilgrims in 2022, Latief reminded them to comply with the rules for preventing the transmission of COVID-19 both in the country and Saudi Arabia.
“Please be responsible with the trust placed by the Indonesian government and Saudi Arabia. Demonstrate that Indonesian Umrah pilgrims are obedient in terms of following the rules, especially pertaining to the set health protocols. Remember, the COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet,” he emphasized.
Latief said his side is currently finalizing regulations regarding the implementation of Umrah during the pandemic, including those related to system integration with the Saudi Arabian government.
All efforts were made to improve the quality of service and protection of pilgrims during their Umrah, he stated.
“We will accurately check the health requirements set by the two governments by ensuring vaccine certificate, health tests, quarantine, and health screenings for pilgrims,” Latief said.
Preparations for the Umrah departure were made through collaboration among the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Law and Human Rights, COVID-19 Task Force, Airport Authority, and the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).
Latief also expressed gratitude to the ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Indonesia for his support in facilitating the Umrah embarkation, including to the ministries and agencies that worked for ensuring successful departure of the Umrah pilgrims.
“We entrust Indonesian Umrah pilgrims during their visit to the Holy Land,” he concluded.