Saudi Arabia To Permit Only Immunized Pilgrims from Ramadan
Saudi Arabia will only allow those who received the Corona vaccine to perform Umrah during the holy month of Ramadan
The Saudi authorities announced Monday that they will only allow people who have received the vaccine against the Coronavirus to perform Umrah and pray at the Grand Mosque in Makkah during the month of Ramadan.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said in a statement that granting permits to perform the rituals of Umrah and prayers in the Grand Mosque in Makkah, as well as visiting the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, will be “starting from the first of Ramadan to the fortified persons.”
The Ministry explained that the permits will be granted to every person who is “immunized who received two doses of the Coronavirus vaccine, or a person who has spent 14 days after receiving the first dose of the vaccine, or a person who has recovered from infection.”
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah added that the authorities will rely on a phone application to ensure the correctness of the information, noting that the reservation of permits to perform Umrah, prayers and visit rituals will be through two applications as well, “by reserving the available time slot.”
While the ministry confirmed on Twitter that these measures will be applied only during the month of Ramadan, the statement on the government news agency did not specify the time period and said that it would start on the first day of Ramadan.
Last October, Saudi Arabia opened the Grand Mosque in Mecca to worshipers for the first time after a seven-month closure, and resumed Umrah rituals, with the kingdom’s authorities easing restrictions imposed to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.
The unprecedented precautionary measures also included the Hajj, which last year was limited to about 10 thousand pilgrims, all from inside the Kingdom, while the previous year witnessed the performance of about 2.5 million pilgrims.
The Umrah, which can be performed at any time throughout the year, attracts millions of Muslims from all over the world every year, but was suspended in March 2020 as part of the unprecedented precautionary measures taken to limit the spread of the pandemic.
Large crowds visit the Grand Mosque in Makkah to perform the Umrah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina during the fasting month that falls in the middle of this month.
The Kingdom has witnessed a rise in Corona virus infections in recent weeks. Saudi Arabia has recorded more than 390,000 cases of the virus since its beginning, including more than 6,700 deaths, which is the highest number in the Gulf region.
The kingdom, with a population of about 34 million, has provided more than five million vaccines so far.
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