Saudi Arabia will gradually begin receiving umrah pilgrimage requests from abroad. Saudi Arabia now opens Umrah for vaccinated pilgrims starting August 9. Moreover, umrah is allowed after about a year and a half of not receiving overseas worshippers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The state news agency (SPA) reported early on Sunday.
With a capacity that would rise to 2 million pilgrims from 60,000 pilgrims per month, it’s good news for Muslims. Makkah and Madina will start welcoming visitors from abroad to their mosques while maintaining COVID-19 precautionary measures.
An official in the Hajj and Umrah Ministry said domestic and overseas pilgrims will have to include authorized COVID-19 vaccination certificates along with their umrah request.
Meanwhile, vaccinated pilgrims from countries that Saudi Arabia includes on its entry-ban list will have to go into quarantine upon arrival.
Umrah is a pilgrimage to Islam’s two holiest sites. One can do it at any time of the year. Saudi Arabia had reopened umrah in October for domestic worshippers. However, it was totally upon the outbreak of the pandemic.
Islam’s holiest sites’ home for the second year in a row had hosted a limited-numbered, domestic hajj pilgrimage in July.
Earlier this month, the Kingdom opened its doors for tourists after a 17-month hiatus.
At the time, the SPA had reported that travelers, fully vaccinated with Saudi-approved jabs will be able to enter the kingdom “without the need for an institutional quarantine period”, provided they also have proof of a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test taken within the last 72 hours and register their details with health authorities.
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