Muslim travel agents in Singapore call for patience after Saudi Arabia suspends entry for pilgrims
SINGAPORE: Muslim travel agents in Singapore are working to find solutions for their customers after Saudi Arabia 's unprecedented decision on ...Advertisement PILGRIMS URGED TO BE PATIENT Mr TM Fauzy TM Jumat, president of Association of Muslim Travel Agents Singapore (AMTAS) urged pilgrims to be patient and not to panic. He said that while Singapore has to follow the travel restrictions imposed by Saudi Arabia, agencies are looking for solutions. Each agency will handle the situation its own way, he said. “If they can, they will refund, but subject to the airlines' and the hotels' decision," he said. Mr Fauzy, who also runs his own travel agency, said he has written in to hotels and airlines to ask if his customers' reservations can be put on hold without penalty. “Our relationship is not one-day-old. We have been working together for years. I hope they waive any cancellation fee,” he said. AMTAS vice-president Jalaluddin Hassan said that the association will meet on Friday to discuss their next steps. READ: Commentary - Three scenarios if the COVID-19 outbreak gets worse RESTRICTIONS UNLIKELY TO BE IN PLACE FOR LONG Agents from Saudi Arabia who work closely with agencies in Singapore have assured the industry that the restrictions will not be in place for long, said Mr Jalaluddin. “They shared that the ban restrictions will last a short while, while the country prepares contingencies such as quarantine,” Mr Jalaluddin said. While Saudi Arabia has not reported any COVID-19 cases, neighbouring countries Kuwait, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates have. COVID-19, which originated in China , has now spread to about 50 countries and territories. Globally, more than 2,700 people have died from the virus, while more than 80,000 people have been infected. In the event that the ban is prolonged, Mr Jalaluddin, who also owns his own travel agency, said that he expects 140 of his customers to be affected. READ: World scrambles to contain COVID-19 as infections spread Ms Hanim Hashim, another agency owner who is also a member of AMTAS, said that she is waiting for updates on the travel restrictions and how long they will last. She said the upcoming fasting month that will start in April is also a period with high demand. One affected pilgrim is Ms Lailah, who was slated to go on her first pilgrimage with her daughter on Mar 7. The 59-year-old paid about S$3,000 per person for the trip. “I was heartbroken and disappointed when I found out this morning. I am waiting for an update from my agent on what is going to happen,” she said. Read more: CNA
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Saudi Arabia suspends entry for pilgrims over coronavirus: Foreign ministryRIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Thursday (Feb 27) suspended visas for pilgrims wishing to visit Mecca, the foreign ministry said, as the coronavirus ...
Saudi Arabia suspends entry for pilgrims over coronavirusRIYADH (AFP) - Saudi Arabia on Thursday (Feb 27) suspended visas for pilgrims wishing to visit Mecca over coronavirus fears, the foreign ministry said.. Read more at straitstimes.com. Sarah_Pndj Did they do same procedure during MERS breakout
Saudi Arabia suspends entry for pilgrims over coronavirus Saudi Arabia on Thursday suspended visas for pilgrims wishing to visit Mecca over coronavirus fears, the foreign ministry said. The government is 'suspending entry to the Kingdom for the purpose of Umrah and visiting the Prophet's Mosque temporarily', the foreign ministry said in a statement
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