Umrah Reopening for Foreign Pilgrims

With a ban imposed on Umrah for foreign pilgrims due to the coronavirus, Saudia Arab has finally decided on lifting the ban from November 1st.

Saudia Arab has recently lifted the ban on performing Umrah for foreign pilgrims. The ban was imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus.

According to the Saudi Gazette, foreign pilgrims aged 18-50 will be allowed to enter the Kingdom from abroad to perform Umrah, effective from November 1 (Rabiul Awwal 15).

However, any foreign pilgrims arriving to perform Umrah must quarantine for three days beforehand, as a part of precautionary measures and the preventive protocols issued by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.

Moreover, as the Saudi Gazette stated that all Umrah establishments must take into notice the current regulations and adhere to the ministry’s regulations and controls regulating the reception of pilgrims from outside the Kingdom.

Foreign pilgrims must always carry PCR medical test certificate with them proving that they are negative for the coronavirus.

They have also mentioned that the test must be done in a renowned laboratory to prove its credibility, and should not be done before 72 hours of departure. “The foreign pilgrims shall have obtained a 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 by the approved program for each pilgrim,” read the report.

Furthermore, Saudia Arab issued a set of instructions to airlines and Umrah companies bringing in foreign pilgrims to perform Umrah that is as follows:

  • 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 of 34 hours before the arrival date.
  • The data of confirmed airline tickets for each pilgrim will also be entered into the system. This will include the ticket number, flight number, city of departure, date, and time of departure.
  • The system will contain accommodation information to stay in Makkah and Madina.
  • 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 Saudi government is further working on making Umrah for foreign pilgrims an easier process and determining set dates and numbers soon.

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