MAKKAH (Web Desk) - Foreign pilgrims will now be able to visit Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah, as the kingdom further lifts travel restrictions that had been put in place to curb the spread of coronavirus.
According to Saudi Gazette, pilgrims aged between 18 and 50 will be allowed to enter the kingdom from abroad to perform Umrah, effective from November 1 (Rabi ul Awwal 15).
The pilgrims must quarantine for three days upon their arrival in the Kingdom, according to the precautionary measures and preventive protocols issued by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.
Saudi Gazette has learned from ministry sources that all Umrah companies and establishments must adhere to the ministry’s regulations and controls regulating the reception of pilgrims from outside the kingdom.
The publication, citing regulations, reported that pilgrims must carry a PCR medical test certificate clearing them of coronavirus. The certificate must be issued by a reliable laboratory and must not be more than 72 hours old from the time the sample was taken to the time of departure to Saudi Arabia.
"The pilgrims shall have obtained reservation for the performance of Umrah as well as to the visit of the Two Holy Mosques and prayer at Rawdah Sharif by registering through Eatmarna application, as well as having confirmed return flight reservations in accordance with the approved programme for each pilgrim," read the report.
Pilgrims must have a PCR medical test certificate showing that they are free from #coronavirus not more than 72 hours from the time of taking sample until the time of departure to #SaudiArabia. https://t.co/v301f8PVUZ— Saudi Gazette (@Saudi_Gazette) October 26, 2020
It said that the reservation for accommodation "must include at least three meals during the three-day period of medical isolation".
Instructions to Umrah companies
Specific instructions have also been issued to Umrah companies and are given as under:
- The Umrah company has to verify the correct information in the passports of the pilgrims, including the date of birth entered in the Umrah system, within a maximum 34 hours before the arrival date.
- The data of confirmed airline tickets for each pilgrim will also be entered in the system. This will include ticket number, flight number, city of departure, date, and time of departure.
- The system will contain accommodation information for stay in Makkah and Madinah.
- The foreign Umrah tour agent, in solidarity with the Saudi Umrah company, is responsible for the integrity of this data, and they will be held accountable for furnishing incorrect information in this regard.
- The foreign agents shall notify the pilgrims about the mandatory health precaution of three-day medical isolation upon arrival in the Kingdom in the hotels in which the pilgrims reside.
- The pilgrims must be divided into groups of at least 50 each, with a leader appointed to guide each group.
"The ministry stated that it, in coordination with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other concerned authorities, is working to determine the countries from where the Umrah performers can come and their numbers on a periodic basis," reported Saudi Gazette.