Saudi Arabia Removes Indonesia from List of Countries Banned Direct Flights

Jakarta, MINA – Acting Director General of the Ministry of Religion of the Republic of Indonesia, Khoirizi, said that the government of Saudi Arabia had removed Indonesia from the list of countries that had a ‘suspend’ status or a ban on direct flights to Saudi Arabia.

“Alhamdulillah, today our suspension along with nine other countries has been opened,” Khoirizi said in a virtual discussion on Tuesday.

According to him, the government will only have to lobby the Saudis so that Indonesian citizens are allowed to perform Hajj and Umrah.

He also confirmed that the Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines were recognized by the Saudis.

However, Umrah pilgrims will have to be injected with one of four other vaccines, such as Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson as a booster.

“That’s what we should be grateful for, we already have these two things to break through the strict Covid-19 protocol,” said Khoirizi.

Even so, he said, until now the Saudi government has not issued any regulations regarding the implementation of Umrah outside of its citizens.

“Well, this is the government’s obligation to stir the hearts of the Saudi Arabian government with the two ammunition,” said Khoirizi.

He hopes that in the near future the government will carry out high-level diplomacy by meeting all levels of the Saudi government to ensure that Indonesia is ready to perform Umrah.

Therefore, he appealed to the public to vaccinate against Covid-19 as an effort to prepare for the Umrah pilgrimage.

“If we are vaccinated, we comply with health protocols, the obligatory conditions for Umrah have been fulfilled, God willing, we can go to the holy land,” added Khoirizi.

Meanwhile, the Consul for Hajj at the Indonesian Consulate General in Jeddah, Endang Jumali, explained that the Saudi Arabian government has highlighted several concerns regarding prospective Umrah pilgrims from Indonesia.

According to Endang, these potential obstacles need to be addressed together by the community.

“Such as the very high level of exposure to Covid-19 in 2021 and also the discipline of the congregation,” he said. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)