Tourism Ministry suspends approval of advertisements on umrah packages

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 09 Jan 2022

PUTRAJAYA: The approval process for the advertisement of umrah packages had been suspended from Jan 8, says the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (Motac).

This was because the flight date, which is a mandatory condition in the advertisement, could not be determined following the government's decision to temporarily suspend travel permission to perform umrah effective Jan 8, to curb the spread of the Covid-19 Omicron variant.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin in a press conference on Jan 1 said the government had decided on the measure from Jan 8, in light of increasing Covid-19 cases among umrah pilgrims.

The suspension follows concerns that the spread of the variant was due to non-compliance with the home quarantine procedures among pilgrims and this had caused the infection to spread among family members.

"Motac is working to find the best solution in mitigating the impact on umrah operators registered with the ministry following the government’s announcement to temporarily suspend the permission to travel for umrah,” it said on Sunday (Jan 9).

According to the ministry, it would be working with the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma), the Health Ministry (MOH), and tour and travel associations to improve umrah travel standard operating procedures (SOP) according to current needs for the approval of the National Security Council (NSC).

On claims that some umrah pilgrims were found to have no vaccination record, it said the ministry and the travel agencies were confident that the issue would be resolved as investigations into the matter were being conducted by the MOH.

Khairy had said the MOH had detected that 17 of the 122 individuals who were infected with the Omicron variant as of Jan 4, were found to have no Covid-19 vaccination record. - Bernama

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