The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced the start of receiving Umrah performers of citizens and residents, in addition to gradually receiving Umrah requests from various countries of the world, starting from August 9, 2021, to perform the rituals of Umrah, visit and pray in the Grand Mosque and the Prophet's Mosque, with a capacity of up to 60,000 Umrah performers divided into 8 operating periods, increasing the overall capacity to two million per month, with the condition that the issuance of permits will be through the "Etamarna and Tawakalna" applications, amid an integrated system of services and preventive measures, taken by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the safety and health of those wishing to perform the rituals of Umrah and visit.
The Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Abdulfattah bin Sulaiman Mashat said that the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah 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.
Regarding the standards of safe transportation services, he explained that the number of passengers on the bus will not exceed 50% of the bus's capacity, while maintaining a safe distance inside the bus, providing sterilizers, and making sure of the permits issued by the "Etamarna and Tawakalna" applications before boarding the bus.
Mashat also said that the ministry is working, in coordination with the competent authorities, 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, in addition to approving service providers (Umrah companies, hotels, and transport companies) eligible in accordance with the regulations of this exceptional stage, precautionary requirements and health protocols, making their services available for display through electronic marketing platforms approved by the Saudi Central Reservation System, and electronic ratification by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for contracts to be concluded between foreign agents and Saudi Umrah companies, in line with the requirements of remote work for the protection against the threat of spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
On the health protocols for Umrah performers from within the Kingdom, he further said that immunization will be a prerequisite for performing Umrah, praying in the Grand Mosque, and visiting the Prophet's Mosque, as shown by "Tawakalna" application of the three immunization categories (immune who has received two doses of the Coronavirus vaccine, or a vaccinated who has spent 14 days after receiving the first dose of the vaccine, or a vaccinated person who is recovering from infection) for all immunized age groups for Umrah performers from inside the Kingdom.
As for the would-be Umrah performers coming from outside the Kingdom, a certificate of immunization certified by the official authorities in the country of the Umrah performer must be attached within the documents of requesting the performance of Umrah rituals, with the condition that the vaccines be approved in the Kingdom, in addition to an acknowledgment of the correctness of the information, and commitment to the institutional quarantine procedures for the entry of travelers coming to the Kingdom from countries from which the suspension of direct entry to the Kingdom is still continuing, according to the mechanisms approved by the competent authorities. Also, the Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah called on the necessity of adhering to the organizational plans and health procedures set by the ministry in cooperation with the competent authorities for the safety of the Umrah performers and those serving them and to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and its variants, with the necessity of obtaining a permit for Umrah through "Tawakalna and Etamarna" applications.