Govt will finalise risk assessment and SOPs for umrah by mid-Feb


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 19 Jan 2022

PETALING JAYA: By mid-February this year, the Health Ministry and the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry will finalise its risk assessment and standard operating procedures (SOP) for Malaysians intending to travel for umrah.

In a joint statement on Wednesday (Jan 19), the ministries said that proposals and issues were brought up during an engagement session jointly held by the two ministries and the Umrah Tourism Agency Association on Wednesday.

“Among issues raised by was the SOP on umrah travel, refunds, flight rescheduling, insurance, the timeline for the reopening of umrah travel and recovery assistance for the tourism industry,” read the statement.

The two ministries said all proposals and issues raised earlier would be scrutinised by respective ministry officials before it is tabled at in the upcoming Minister Quartet Meeting on Covid-19.

The engagement session on Wednesday was attended by Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin; Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri; the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma); the Malaysian Association of Tour & Travel Agents (Matta); the Umrah and Haj tourism agency association (Papuh), among others.

The two ministries assured that Putrajaya remained concerned over the various challenges faced by tourism industry players due to the pandemic.

“Both ministries are hoping for all industry players to give full cooperation in order to ensure that umrah activities can continue to be implemented safely,” it added.

On Jan 1, Khairy said umrah pilgrimages for Malaysians would be temporarily suspended from Jan 8 while returning pilgrims would be subjected to mandatory quarantine at designated centres.

The suspension of umrah travel came following concerns due to a high number of Covid-19 Omicron variant cases discovered among those who returned from Mecca last December.

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