Saudi Arabia restricts Umrah pilgrimage access to Mecca

Saudi Arabia restricts Umrah pilgrimage access to Mecca

Saudi authorities have declared on Monday that only people immunised against Covid-19 will be allowed to perform the year-round Umrah pilgrimage, with the new measure starting at the beginning of Ramadan, the holy fasting month for Muslims.

The Hajj and Umrah Ministry said in a statement that three categories of people would be considered “immunized”: those who have received two doses of the vaccine, those administered a single dose at least 14 days prior, and people who have recovered from an infection.

Only these people will be eligible for permits to perform Umrah, as well as to attend prayers in the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca, according to the statement.

It added that the authorities will rely on a telephone application to verify the validity of the information, noting that the reservation of permits to perform Umrah rituals, prayers and visits will be done through two applications.

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