KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 ― The government hopes that more Muslims in Malaysia will be able to perform the umrah and Haj pilgrimage this year and subsequent years with the lifting of restrictions related to Covid-19 by Saudi Arabia for entry into the country.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Idris Ahmad, in welcoming the announcement by the Saudi Arabian government, said Malaysia would always extend its cooperation to the Saudi Arabian government to ensure the safety and health of umrah and Haj pilgrims.

“The Saudi Arabian government must have assessed the various aspects and all health protocols since the Covid-19 outbreak hit the world two years ago before lifting the restrictions, in line with the improving pandemic situation in the country.

“The Saudi Arabian government must have also made thorough preparations based on best international handling practices in order to ensure the safety of its people, as well as umrah and Haj pilgrims who come from all over the world,” he said in a statement.

Yesterday, Bernama reported that the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health announced the lifting of all Covid-19 restrictions, including the mandatory quarantine for all visitors arriving in the country.

The move was taken following a drop in cases and the vaccination rate having reached 99 per cent for all residents aged 12 and above. ― Bernama