RIYADH — The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced on Wednesday that the entry of Umrah pilgrims, worshipers and visitors to the Two Holy Mosques will be regulated through the application “I’tamarna,” which will be available on smartphones effective from Sept. 27 (Safar 10).
The ministry has developed the app in cooperation with the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) to regulate the times of rituals of those wishing to visit Makkah and Madinah to perform Umrah and pray at the Two Holy Mosques.
The app will enable the pilgrims and visitors to plan their pilgrimage and visit in advance, as well as to make reservation of optional services to perform their rituals in ease and comfort, in addition to ensuring the compliance of the health and precautionary measures and preventive protocols, approved by the Ministry of Health and other competent authorities, to stem the spread of coronavirus.
The Ministry of Interior announced on Tuesday the gradual resumption of Umrah and visits to the Two Holy Mosques with a limited number of pilgrims, starting from Oct. 4.
In the first phase, citizens and expatriates from within the Kingdom will be allowed to perform Umrah at a capacity of 30 percent from Oct. 4 that translates to 6,000 pilgrims per day and that is in compliance with the health precautionary measures of the Grand Mosque.
The Ministry of Hajj said that the application would be available for users of iOS and Android operating systems seven days before the start of the first phase.
The registration of the data entered by the pilgrims and visitors to the Two Holy Mosques will be directly related to the application “Tawakkalna,” the official app launched by the Ministry of Health to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The ministry said in a statement, “This step would consist of a number of procedures, including providing a guarantee that the pilgrim or visitor is free from coronavirus.
“The application enables pilgrims and visitors to select the appropriate time for performance of the rituals in accordance with the available dates, as well as to choose the accompanying services that they wish to be made available for them such as choosing the means of transportation, gathering points and service centers.”
The ministry emphasized the importance of the pilgrims and visitors to strictly adhere to the precautionary measures that ensure their safety and health, such as wearing mask, maintaining safe physical distance, and comply with the times and routes designated for each pilgrim and visitor.
The ministry affirmed the Kingdom’s keenness to enable the guests of God to perform their rituals in safe and healthy manner in a way protecting them from the threats of pandemic and achieving the objectives of the Islamic Shariah in safeguarding the human soul at any cost.
In March this year, the Ministry of Interior announced temporary suspension of the Umrah pilgrimage and visit to the Holy Mosques for both foreign and domestic pilgrims and worshipers as part of the precautionary measures that have taken following the outbreak of the pandemic.
According to the new decision of the Ministry of Interior to lift suspension of Umrah service in a phased manner, foreign pilgrims will be allowed to resume their pilgrimage to the Kingdom to perform Umrah and visit the Two Holy Mosques in the third phase, which will begin on Nov. 1.
Saudi Gazette report