KUALA LUMPUR: The Cabinet decided today to allow Muslims to resume umrah pilgrimages from Feb 8, tourism, arts and culture minister Nancy Shukri said.
She added that the decision was made as the government does not intend to extend the postponement period of umrah trips, which came into effect on Jan 8 following the transmission of the Omicron Covid-19 variant.
“The Cabinet decision was made just now. We do not want to extend the suspension further, so on Feb 8 umrah travel agents can continue their umrah activities,” she told reporters when asked to comment on the matter after attending an event here today.
According to Nancy, the SOPs for umrah trips were still the same, which among others made it compulsory for pilgrims to take the booster jabs.
“The SOPs are still the same. There are only a few new SOPs for them (pilgrims) and that will be discussed with the travel agents. So, detailed SOPs will be discussed further,” she said.
On Jan 1, the government decided to temporarily suspend all umrah trips from Jan 8 over fears of the high number of Covid-19 Omicron infections among pilgrims returning from Saudi Arabia.
Health minister Khairy Jamaluddin was quoted as saying that a risk evaluation of the Covid-19 situation involving the variant at home and abroad, especially in Saudi Arabia, would be done periodically for the government to allow resumption of umrah activities.