Saudi Arabia Allows Foreign Pilgrims for Umrah from November 1

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Those applying for Umrah should be between ages 18 and 50 years and they must remain three days in quarantine upon arrival in Saudi Arabia

Clarion India

MAKKAH — As many as 20,000 Umrah pilgrims and 60,000 worshipers will be allowed to enter the Grand Mosque in Makkah on a daily basis from Sunday, November 1, which marks the beginning of the third phase of the gradual resumption of Umrah service, Saudi Gazette newspaper reported.

A total of 19,500 faithful will have permits to visit the Prophet’s Mosque in Madina in this phase, according to Dr. Amr Al-Maddah, deputy minister of Haj and Umrah.

This phase will see foreign pilgrims arrive in Makkah and Madina for the first time since restrictions were imposed on Haj and Umrah following Covid-19 scare eight months back.

The first phase of Umrah service began on October 4. It allowed Saudi citizens and expatriates from within Saudi Arabia in limited numbers. The second phase began on October 18, allowing prayers at the Grand Mosque and visit to Madina with the increased number of Umrah pilgrims.

Pilgrims and visitors from within the Kingdom and abroad will be allowed to perform Umrah and prayers at the Two Holy Mosques at their full capacity in the fourth and final phase of the gradual resumption of the services that were suspended following the outbreak of coronavirus nearly eight months ago.

Al-Maddah said that the pilgrims’ arrival and departure through the land, air and sea ports, accommodation in Makkah and Madina, performance of Umrah pilgrimage, visit to the Prophet’s Mosque and transportation between the two holy cities will all be reviewed and monitored thoroughly to ensure that all precautionary measures and preventive protocols to stem the spread of coronavirus are well in place.

Al-Maddah said that the mechanism for organizing Umrah of foreign pilgrims requires specific procedures, including submitting a request to perform Umrah with all personal and health data, with a maximum of 50 people per group from the permitted countries, and the need for a foreign Umrah agent.

The countries, which are sending pilgrims, will be classified on the basis of periodic review of the latest developments with regard to the coronavirus situation in their respective countries.

He said that 10,000 pilgrims are booking for Umrah on a daily basis and the number of groups is 500, with 20 pilgrims in each group. There are more than 1,800 hotels and over 250,000 housing units in Makkah readied for the pilgrims. The hotels ranging from three- to five-stars are instructed to apply the highest standards of precautionary measures and preventive protocols to stem the spread of coronavirus during the stay of the pilgrims.

Foreign pilgrims applying for Umrah should be between ages 18 and 50 years and they must remain three days in quarantine upon arrival in Saudi Arabia.

According to the regulations, pilgrims must have a PCR medical test certificate showing that they are free from coronavirus, issued by a reliable laboratory in their country, not more than 72 hours from the time of taking sample until the time of departure to the Kingdom.

The pilgrims shall have obtained reservation for the performance of Umrah as well as to the visit of the Two Holy Mosques by registering through Eatmarna application, as well as having confirmed return flight reservations in accordance with the approved program for each pilgrim.

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