Saudi Arabia has given conditional permission to devotees to enter the country for the Umrah pilgrimage.
Pakistan is among nine countries, devotees from where have been barred from entering Saudi Arabia for the Umrah pilgrimage, the country’s federal minister for religious affairs, Noor ul Haq Qadri has claimed. Qadri made this claim while appearing for a show on ARY News.
Saudi Arabia, on August 9, opened applications, with conditions, from devotees vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) for entry into the kingdom for Umrah, a pilgrimage to Mecca which, unlike Hajj, can be undertaken at any time of the year.
According to Saudi Arabia’s health ministry, travellers, who have completed two doses of the made-in-China vaccines against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), including Sinovac and Sinopharm, should get a booster dose of any of the four other authorised vaccines in the country, to be granted entry. “All visitors arriving in the country with a valid tourism visa must provide evidence of a full course of one of the four vaccines currently recognised: two doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, or Moderna vaccines, or a single dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine,” the guidelines, which were
Additionally, the guidelines mandate that only those devotees, who have been duly inoculated with a Covid-19 vaccine, will be allowed to enter the holy mosques, including the Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (The Prophet’s Mosque) and Masjid al-Haram (The Great Mosque).
Saudi Arabia aims to gradually increase the number of devotees arriving for Umrah to 2 million, from the current 60,000 per month. In July, it welcomed devotees for the annual Hajj pilgrimage; the number, however, was restricted for the second year in a row due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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