Muslim travellers are encourage to defer their plans for the umrah pilgrimage in view of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) said on Thursday, Dec. 31.
In a press release, MUIS commended the Association of the Muslim Travel Agents of Singapore (AMTAS) for advising against going on the umrah in 2021.
MUIS added that it shares AMTAS' commitment to protect prospective pilgrims and the wider community from the risk of infection.
Previously, MUIS announced that the Islamic haj pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, would be deferred to 2021.
MUIS also said the ongoing pandemic has introduced many risks and uncertainties for overseas travel, even for those permitted, such as mandatory testing and quarantine requirements (both upon entry to the destination and upon return to Singapore).
The stat board therefore cautioned against travel during the pandemic:
"There would also be significant costs incurred should travellers get infected and are hospitalised, and there could also be the possibility of flight cancellations and changes.
As such, these factors make Umrah travel not advisable at the moment."
MUIS added that they will continue to work closely with AMTAS and the relevant government authorities to monitor the situation and assess when it would be safe and appropriate for Umrah travel to resume, in line with the overall national guidelines for overseas travel.
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