New umrah SOPs effective Feb 14

09 Feb 2022 11:46am
Photo for illustration purpose only
Photo for illustration purpose only

KUALA LUMPUR - The implementation of the new standard operating procedures (SOPs) for umrah activities would be in force from Feb 14.

Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said among the new SOPs were for the person in charge (PIC) from tourism agencies to monitor SOP compliance among the pilgrims throughout the trip.

The PIC from the travel agencies will be monitoring SOP compliance while at the Holy Land, during the journey back to Malaysia and at the international entry points into the country, he added.

“The PIC will join the umrah congregation if there are over 40 people or provide a schedule for a congregation comprising less than 40 people.

“Other SOPs include to make it compulsory for those who want to perform umrah to get their Covid-19 booster shot and for them to undergo mandatory quarantine at home without having to submit the Home Quarantine Application (HQA).

"However, they can also undergo mandatory quarantine at private quarantine stations with the cost of accommodation, food and treatment borne by themselves," he said during a press conference on the Covid-19 quartet ministerial meeting, here, on Tuesday.

During a meeting held on Jan 26, the cabinet has agreed to allow Muslims to resume their umrah plans from Feb 8.

This was after the government temporarily suspended umrah activities following the spread of the Omicron Covid-19 variant infection.

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Commenting further, Hishamuddin said the government was aware that there were pilgrims who will depart for Saudi Arabia starting Tuesday and said that those who depart between today (Wednesday) and Feb 13 were subjected to the existing SOPs.

“However, they need to adhere to the new set of SOPs upon their return to the country,” he said.