Government Asked to Remove Quarantine for Umrah Congregants

Jakarta, IDN Times – Deputy Chairperson of the Indonesian People’s Consultative Assembly Hidayat Nur Wahid (HNW) suggested that the government abolish the quarantine policy for Umrah pilgrims, after returning to Indonesia or relaxing the rules.

According to Hidayat, the non-enforcement of the quarantine policy by the government through intensive coordination between the Ministry of Religion, the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Transportation, will fulfill a sense of justice for Umrah pilgrims, as will the abolition of quarantine for foreign tourists who enter Bali starting 7 March 2022.

“Starting March 7, 2022, foreign tourists can enter Bali without quarantine. Why are pilgrims returning from Umrah still required to quarantine for one day? It would be very reasonable and fulfill a sense of justice if the quarantine exemption policy was implemented for Umrah pilgrims as foreign tourists to Bali were released from quarantine,” he said.

Read also: Jokowi Agrees for Foreign Tourists to Enter Bali Without Quarantine Starting Today

1. Umrah pilgrims feel unburdened

Elite PKS: Bali Tourists Are Quarantine Free, Why Not Umrah Congregants?Umrah pilgrims returning to carry out their first Umrah in Makkah during the COVID-19 Pandemic (Doc. Consulate General in Jeddah/Fauzy Chusny)

In addition, said Hidayat, the abolition of the quarantine rules will make Umrah pilgrims feel less burdened in performing the worship.

Hidayat assessed that the abolition of quarantine could most likely be implemented in Indonesia, as was the country of travel for Umrah pilgrims, namely Saudi Arabia, which no longer imposed quarantine obligations. In addition, he said, a quarantine-free policy has been implemented by Indonesia’s neighboring countries.

The former President of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) said that since 2021, several neighboring countries have implemented the “Vaccinated Travel Lane” (VTL) system, namely the government’s policy of not imposing quarantine for arrivals from certain countries, which have been determined to be of low risk to people. spread of the COVID-19 virus.

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2. Quarantine-free policy is considered very likely to be implemented in Indonesia

Elite PKS: Bali Tourists Are Quarantine Free, Why Not Umrah Congregants?Bali tourist illustration photo. (IDN Times/Rehuel Willy Aditama)

In fact, according to Hidayat, Singapore through its Minister of Health stated that it was ready to revoke the VTL system by allowing quarantine-free arrivals from all citizens of other countries.

“This means that a quarantine-free policy is very likely to be implemented in Indonesia, and it can start not only for tourists in Bali, but also for Umrah pilgrims who have performed their worship in Saudi Arabia. Umrah pilgrims are still reminded to be careful about maintaining their health so they don’t get infected with Omicron or transmit Omicron,” he said.

Also Read: Saudi Abolishes Quarantine Rules, Ministry of Religion Will Adjust One Stop Umrah

3. The government is asked to return the quarantine fees that have been deposited by the Umrah pilgrims

Elite PKS: Bali Tourists Are Quarantine Free, Why Not Umrah Congregants?The atmosphere of the quarantine room in the former Medan Polonia Airport building which was used to accommodate Indonesian migrant workers (IDNTimes/Special)

The Deputy Chair of the PKS Shura Council hopes that the regulations from the government regarding the implementation of Umrah that are more professional and lighten the burden of Umrah pilgrims, can strengthen the mental and immunity of the congregation when carrying out worship.

Thus, according to Hidayat, while in Saudi Arabia, Umrah pilgrims from Indonesia are increasingly protected from transmission of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Therefore, he urged the government to return the quarantine fee that the Indonesian Umrah pilgrims had deposited to the Saudi Arabian airline, as the quarantine service provider. This step, according to Hidayat, was necessary because Saudi Arabia had not imposed a quarantine upon arrival.