Pakistan among 9 states barred as Saudi Arabia opens Umrah applications

The new guidelines state that only those pilgrims who have been duly inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine will be allowed to visit the Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (The Prophet's Mosque) and Masjid al-Haram (The Great Mosque), said the Kingdom's Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.

Islamabad: Pakistani pilgrims, among those from nine states, have not been allowed entry into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) as it opens Umrah applications, said Federal religious affairs minister Noor ul Haq Qadri.

In am ARY News show “Bakhabar Savera”, the minister admitted that Pakistan was still amongst the nine countries which are not still allowed unconditionally into the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia has conditionally allowed travellers who have completed two doses of the Chinese vaccines including Sinovac and Sinopharm, to get a booster shot of one of the four approved vaccines including Oxford/Astra Zeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna or Johnson and Johnson.

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“All visitors arriving in the country with a valid tourism visa must provide evidence of a full course of one the four vaccines currently recognized: two doses of the Oxford/Astra Zeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines or a single dose of the vaccine produced by Johnson and Johnson,” the guideline stated, ARY News reported.

The guidelines that will come into effect from the 1st of Ramadan, only those who have received COVID-19 vaccines will be allowed to enter the holy mosques, Geo News reported citing the country’s media.

The new guidelines state that only those pilgrims who have been duly inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine will be allowed to visit the Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (The Prophet’s Mosque) and Masjid al-Haram (The Great Mosque), said the Kingdom’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.

The guidelines were issued by the Saudi Arabian e-visa portal for the travellers after reopening the entry of vaccinated international visitors from August 1.

Meanwhile, Pakistan on Monday recorded 3,884 new COVID-19 cases into its overall tally of infections, the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) said on Tuesday.

 The NCOC, a department leading Pakistan’s campaign against the pandemic, said the country’s total cases rose to 1,075,504, including 967,073 recoveries.

The number of active cases rose to 84,427, including 4,530 critical patients.

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