Egypt's travel agencies to refund Umrah fees after Saudi decision

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Fri, 28 Feb 2020 - 09:42 GMT

FILE - Mecca city - Wikimedia Commons/Meshal Obeidallah

FILE - Mecca city - Wikimedia Commons/Meshal Obeidallah

CAIRO – 28 February 2020: Egyptian authorities on Thursday ordered to oblige travel agencies and airlines organizing Umrah pilgrimage or visits to the Prophet's Mosque in the western city of Medina to promptly refund fees of bookings to their customers.

This comes a day after Saudi Arabia announced a temporary ban on entering the Kingdom for performing Umrah pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca or visiting Prophet's Mosque in Medina, in an effort to prevent the spread of new coronavirus, a statement by the foreign ministry read.

The Egypt’s Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) directed the travel agencies to give their customers documents that help them guarantee their financial rights and simplify procedures as per the law No. 181 of 2018.

Radi Abdel Moati, head of the CPA, warned citizens against entering into agreements with fake travel agencies to get visas to go to Saudi Arabia. He also stated that the travel agencies and airlines should abide by legal regulations and avoid any negative practices against their customers.

The deadly virus has so far killed almost 3,000 people and appeared in countries around Saudi Arabia, mainly in Iran.

The Saudi decision also temporarily bars Saudi citizens and citizens of the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) from moving to or from the kingdom using their national IDs. However, exceptions include Saudi citizens outside the kingdom who are willing to return in case they left the country by their national IDs and the GCC citizens inside the Kingdom, in case they need to leave Saudi Arabia.

The new precautions are “based on the recommendations of the competent health authorities to apply the highest precautionary standards and take proactive preventive measures to prevent the emergence of the coronavirus in the Kingdom and its spread,” the statement added.


MENA contributed to the reporting

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