Thursday Dec 02, 2021
JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced that foreign Umrah pilgrims can now once more extend their duration of stay to 30 days from the previously allowed 10 days, the Saudi Gazette has reported.
"Before the travel ban following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, foreign pilgrims were allowed to stay up to 30 days in Saudi Arabia. When the temporary ban on Umrah pilgrims was lifted and the service resumed on November 1, foreign pilgrims were allowed a 10-day stay in the kingdom," the report noted.
Additionally, as long as the foreign pilgrims are from countries which do not fall under a travel ban, and as long as they have been inoculated with the approved vaccines, they can now directly arrive in Makkah and perform Umrah without the need for institutional quarantine.
However, foreign pilgrims will be subjected to a 3-day institutional quarantine if they are immunised with two doses of vaccines approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
"Such pilgrims have to carry out PCR laboratory test after 48 hours of institutional quarantine, and will be allowed to perform Umrah directly if they submit a negative PCR report," the publication said.
Under the new relaxations, all foreign pilgrims aged 18 and above will be given a permit to enter the kingdom and perform Umrah, subject to the terms set by the ministry.
Among domestic pilgrims, those aged 12 and above are allowed to perform Umrah.