Saudi Arabia will gradually begin receiving Umrah pilgrimage requests from abroad for vaccinated pilgrims starting Aug. 9 after about a year and a half of not receiving overseas worshippers due to the COVID-19 pandemic; state news agency (SPA) reported early on Sunday.
With a capacity that would rise to 2 million pilgrims from 60;000 pilgrims per month; Makkah and Medina will start welcoming visitors from abroad to their mosques while maintaining COVID-19 precautionary measures.
An official in the Hajj and Umrah Ministry said domestic and overseas pilgrims will have also to include authorized COVID-19 vaccination certificates along with their Umrah request.
Vaccinated pilgrims from countries that Saudi Arabia includes on its entry-ban list also will have to be institutionally in quarantine upon arrival; the report added.
Umrah; a pilgrimage to Islam’s two holiest sites that is undertaken at any time of the year; opened in October for domestic worshippers after it was totally upon the outbreak of the pandemic.
Islam’s holiest sites’ home for the second year in a row had hosted a limited-numbered; domestic Haj pilgrimage in July.