Saudi Arabia to receive foreign umrah pilgrims from Aug. 9

Saudi Arabia to receive foreign umrah pilgrims from Aug. 9
Pilgrims performed tawaf al-wada (circumambulating the Kaaba seven rounds) during the hajj season of 1442 hijri. (Saudi Press Agency-SPA)

Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced that it will start receiving umrah (the minor hajj) pilgrims requests from abroad as of Aug. 9, 2021 (Muharram 1, 1443 hijri), Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The ministry said it will gradually increase the capacity to reach 2 million pilgrims per month from inside and outside the Kingdom.

Pilgrims coming from outside the Kingdom must present an authorized COVID-19 vaccination certificate from the official authorities in the pilgrim’s country. The certificate must be attached within the request to perform the rituals, with the condition that the vaccines are approved in the Kingdom.

The issuance of umrah permits will be through the I’tamarna and Tawakkalna applications, amid an integrated system of services and preventive measures, taken by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to ensure the safety and health of those wishing to perform the rituals of umrah.

Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Abdul Fattah Mashat explained that the ministry worked in coordination with other concerned authorities to put in place executive mechanisms and create a safe and accessible environment for the pilgrims throughout their journey.

Mashat pointed out that the number of passengers on the bus will not exceed 50 percent of the buses’ capacity while maintaining a safe distance inside the buses, providing sterilizers, and making sure of the permits of pilgrims issued by the I’tamarna and Tawakkalna apps before boarding the bus.

“The ministry is working, in coordination with the competent authorities, to determine the countries from which the pilgrims are offered, and their numbers on a periodic basis according to the classification of preventive measures, and the requirements for the countries from which the pilgrims and visitors come to the Kingdom,” Mashat said.

Meanwhile, the Technical and Service Authority at the Grand Mosque in Makkah has intensified its preparations for the umrah season through conducting sterilization and scenting processes for the Grand Mosque and its parks round the clock to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

More than 4,000 workers sterilize the Grand Mosque and its outdoor parks and facilities more than 10 times a day with the use of the best sterilizers and perfumes that were brought especially for the holiest site.

Almost 60,000 liters of environment-friendly sterilizers are used daily during washing and some 1,200 liters of perfumes and 470 tools and washing machines to sterilize the Grand Mosque.

The authority also enhanced its preventive and precautionary procedures to protect visitors of the Grand Mosque from the virus, where field teams work round the clock to implement these procedures precisely to maintain the safety of umrah performers and visitors.

Reporting by Indonesia Window

 

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