Saudi Arabia issues new guidelines for Umrah pilgrims

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Riyadh

Saudi Arabia has issued guidelines for Umrah pilgrims who would be travelling to the Kingdom from foreign countries, an Arab news agency said Friday, citing the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.

According to the Saudi Ministry of Hajj, those coming for Umrah will first have to visit the care centre in Mecca — six hours before performing the Umrah — where they will get the status of their coronavirus vaccination checked.

According to the ministry, visitors to the care centre will be given a bracelet after clearance, which they will have to wear at all times.

Thereafter, visitors will be instructed to go to the Al-Shubaikha gathering centre where they will show their bracelet and verify their data and permit.

The Saudi Ministry of Hajj has urged pilgrims to adhere to the date and time of their Umrah.

It should be noted that Saudi Arabia had allowed foreign nationals to perform Umrah starting from March 2021 with strict adherence to the Kingdom’s coronavirus protocols.

The ministry had also introduced two applications through which citizens can choose a time and date to perform the Umrah during Ramadan.

Only vaccinated people to perform Umrah
Earlier this month, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced new terms and conditions for visitors and Umrah pilgrims and had said that only those who have received coronavirus vaccines will be allowed to enter the holy mosques.

Per the new guidelines, only those pilgrims who have been duly inoculated with the coronavirus vaccine will be allowed to visit the Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (The Prophet’s Mosque) and Masjid al-Haram (The Great Mosque), the ministry said.

The ministry clarified that any person who wishes to visit the two holy mosques for the purpose of Umrah or offering prayers must have received both the shots of the vaccine, otherwise, they will not be allowed to enter the mosques.

The ministry added that even after being inoculated, all those praying in the mosques will still have to follow the Kingdom’s coronavirus protocols.—AP

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