Covid-19: SAFTTA accepts umrah travel postponement, calls for SOP enhancements at KLIA

SHAH ALAM: The Selangor Association For Travel and Tourism Agencies (SAFTTA) agrees with the government’s decision to postpone the umrah pilgrimages for a month but hopes that the standard operating procedures (SOP) upon arrival at KL International Airport (KLIA) can be improved during this period.

SAFTTA president Dr Fathir Badri Alhadad said,based on recent experience, the association found that the situation at the entrance was quite crowded, especially during peak hours, with too many travellers gathered in limited space to undergo inspections conducted by the Health Ministry

“It is our hope that this one-month period will not be extended, to help travel agencies reschedule the plans for those travelling with them,” he said in a statement Thursday (Jan 6).

According to him, tightening the SOP during the arrival of the umrah pilgrims is more practical than postponing the journey, due to the losses that will be borne by the umrah pilgrims.

SAFTTA has a membership of 580 companies comprising travel agencies, hotels, homestays, theme parks and tourism-based companies.

Earlier, the media reported that the government had agreed on the temporary suspension of travel permission to perform the umrah for a month beginning Jan 8, in order to ascertain the risk of infection from the Omicron variant. – Bernama