Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia to welcome thousands of foreign Umrah pilgrims
Sunday marks the third phase of the resumption of Umrah.
Up to 20,000 Umrah pilgrims and 60,000 worshippers will be allowed to enter the Grand Mosque in Makkah on a daily basis from Sunday, Saudi Gazette reported on Thursday. This represents the beginning of the third phase of the gradual resumption of Umrah service.
Meanwhile, 19,500 worshippers will have permits to visit the grave of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) from that day onward, according to Dr. Amr Al Maddah, deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah for Hajj and Umrah services.
Foreign pilgrims will be allowed to perform Umrah for the first time from Sunday.
Al Maddah said that the pilgrims’ arrival and departure through land, air and sea ports; accommodation in Makkah and Madinah; performance of Umrah pilgrimage’ visit to Rawdah Sharif and the Prophet’s grave; performance of obligatory prayer at the Two Holy Mosques; and transportation between the two holy cities will all assessed thoroughly to ensure Covid-19 precautionary measures are being adhered to.
Al Maddah said foreign pilgrims wishing to perform Umrah need to submit an official request with all personal and health data, with a maximum of 50 people per group from the permitted countries, and the need for a foreign Umrah agent.
He added that 10,000 pilgrims are registering for Umrah every day and the number of groups is 500 groups, with 20 pilgrims in each group.
Al Maddah said foreign pilgrims must be aged between 18 and 50 and that they must remain three days in quarantine upon their arrival in the Kingdom.
They must also have a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) medical test certificate proving that they are free from coronavirus, issued by a reliable laboratory in their country, not more than 72 hours from the time of taking sample until the time of departure to the Kingdom.
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