• Monday, Jul 26, 2021
  • Last Update : 09:23 am

Indonesia cancels Hajj pilgrimage again due to coronavirus concerns

  • Published at 02:20 pm June 3rd, 2021
Int'l- Saudi Arabia concludes downsized Hajj amid pandemic
File photo: Muslim pilgrims circumambulate around the Kaaba, at the centre of the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca, on August 2, 2020 AFP

Saudi Arabia has lifted a ban on travelers arriving from 11 countries that it imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus

Indonesia has cancelled the Hajj pilgrimage for people in the world's largest Muslim-majority nation for a second year in a row due to concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic, the religious affairs minister said on Thursday.

For many Indonesians, the religious pilgrimage is an once-in-a-lifetime event, with the average wait time 20 years due to a quota system, according to the country's cabinet secretariat.

"Due to the pandemic and for the safety of the pilgrims, the government has decided that this year it won't allow Indonesian pilgrims to go again," Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas said in a statement.


Also Read - Hajj 2021: Another frustrating year for Bangladeshis


Yaqut said Saudi Arabia had not opened access to the Hajj.

"It's not just Indonesia...no countries have received quotas, because the memorandum of understanding has not been signed," he said, adding that pilgrims who had paid Hajj fees will be pilgrims next year.

Saudi Arabia has lifted a ban on travelers arriving from 11 countries that it imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus, the Saudi state news agency said on Saturday, but will still require quarantine procedures.

Before the pandemic enforced social distancing globally, some 2.5 million pilgrims used to visit the holiest sites of Islam in Mecca and Medina for the week-long Hajj, and the lesser, year-round Umrah pilgrimage, which altogether earned the kingdom about $12 billion a year, according to official data.

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