Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced that it will start gradually receiving Umrah requests from various countries as of August 9, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
In addition, the ministry would progressively raise capacity to 2 million pilgrims every month.
Permits will be issued via the Eatmarna and Tawakkalna mobile applications, as part of a comprehensive system of services and preventive measures put in place by the Kingdom to ensure the safety and health of people performing the Umrah and Ziyarah rituals.
Deputy Minister of Hajj Dr. Abdul Fattah Mashat explained that the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah worked in coordination with other concerned authorities to put in place executive mechanisms and create a safe and accessible environment for the pilgrims throughout their journey.
Mashat also stated that the number of people on pilgrim buses will not exceed 50% capacity in order to maintain social distance. Before boarding the bus, authorities will give sanitizers and check pilgrim permits given by the Eatmarna and Tawakkalna applications.
Mashat indicated that the ministry is working, in coordination with the competent authorities, to determine the countries from which the pilgrims will be permited, and their numbers on a periodic basis according to the classification of preventive measures, and the requirements for the countries from which the pilgrims and visitors come to the Kingdom.
Pilgrims coming from outside the Kingdom must present a certificate of immunization issued by the pilgrim’s country’s official authorities, which must be included in the justifications for asking the rituals, with the condition that the vaccinations be accepted.
As part of coronavirus prevention efforts, authorities at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, have increased sanitation efforts in preparation for Umrah.
More than 4,000 workers have begun sanitizing the Grand Mosque and its outdoor parks and facilities over 10 times a day with the use of high-quality sanitizers and perfumes, according to SPA.
Almost 60,000 liters of environment-friendly sterilizers are being used daily during the cleaning process and about 1,200 liters of perfume, the news agency reported.
According to Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, only international travelers who have received the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine will be allowed to do Umrah.
Pilgrims under the age of 18 are prohibited from performing the ritual.
Umrah is the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca that can be performed at any time of the year, in contrast to Hajj.
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