Saudi Arabia to allow 2m pilgrims monthly to perform umrah
By Zeynep Tufekci Gulay
RIYADH (AA): Saudi Arabia announced on Sunday that beginning Monday applications for Muslim pilgrims wishing to perform umrah from abroad will be received and 2 million requests will be accepted per month which includes pilgrims from inside and outside the Kingdom.
The Saudi news agency SPA cited Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Abdulfattah bin Sulaiman Mashat, who said his ministry “has worked in coordination with other concerned authorities prior to the start of the Umrah season 2021/2022, to develop executive mechanisms and create a safe and accessible environment for the Umrah performers throughout their journey to achieve security, safety, and human health.”
A total of 60,000 umrah performers divided into eight operating periods will increase to 2 million per month, it added.
Applications will be made through an integrated system of services and preventive measures.
Mashat said the ministry is working “to determine the countries from which Umrah performers come, and their numbers on a periodic basis according to the classification of preventive measures, and the requirements for the countries from which the Umrah performers and visitors come to 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 preform the rituals, with the condition that the vaccines are approved in the Kingdom.
Meanwhile, The Technical and Service Authority at the Grand Mosque 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 Grand Mosque.
Umrah is a voluntary pilgrimage to Makkah that Muslims can perform at any time of the year. It was suspended in February 2020 because of fears of the coronavirus outbreak.
Due to the pandemic, umrah was limited to Saudis and foreign residents of the kingdom who were allowed to perform the ritual at the Grand Mosque at 30% capacity or 6,000 people per day.
Additional report by The Muslim News
[Photo: A few workers are seen nearby empty Ka’bah as a precaution against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) are taken in Makkah, Saudi Arabia on April 07, 2020. Photographer: Stringer/AA]
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