Riyadh: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah on Wednesday announced that the institutional quarantine is not required for those foreign Umrah pilgrims who have taken two doses of COVID-19 vaccines approved in the Kingdom, local media from the gulf country.
According to the Arabic daily Okaz, fully vaccinated overseas pilgrims can directly travel to the city of Makkah and can perform Umrah rituals without the need for institutional quarantine.
Meanwhile, those vaccinated with other vaccines approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) will have to undergo three-day institutional quarantine. After 48 hours in quarantine, they will have to present a negative COVID-19-detecting PCR test, after which they will be allowed to undertake Umrah rituals.
Saudi Arabia has also said that overseas pilgrims coming to the country to perform Umrah or the lesser pilgrimage can now stay up to 30 days, extending the stay length to the pre-COVID-19 time.
The temporary ban on Umrah pilgrims was lifted and the service resumed on November 1, 2020, and overseas pilgrims were allowed to stay for 10 days only as part of efforts to limit COVID-19 spread.
On November 27, the ministry had set a minimum age of 18 years and has dropped the maximum age limit of 50 years for overseas pilgrims performing Umrah, as well as the permit for prayer at the Grand Mosque and Al-Rawdah Sharif at the Prophet’s Mosque and visit the Prophet’s grave following the easing of restrictions that were imposed following the COVID-19 outbreak.
On November 13, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah launched a service enabling overseas Umrah pilgrims to obtain permits for performing the rituals in the Grand Mosque in Mecca. Pilgrims will also be permitted to offer their respects to Prophet Mohammed in Medina through the health apps Eatmarna and Tawakkalna after registering in the platform Qudum.