RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced on Tuesday that all foreign Umrah pilgrims coming to the Kingdom must submit a negative PCR test report within 48 hours of arrival, Radio Pakistan reported.
According to a statement issued in this regard, this rule applies to everyone “regardless of their vaccination status”.
The new arrangement will take effect from Wednesday.
Pilgrims must show that they have been vaccinated with the Tawakkalna app to enter the Great Mosque in Mecca and Medina.
Earlier, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah had also announced that foreign Umrah pilgrims can now re-extend their length of stay to 30 days from the previously allowed 10 days, the Saudi Gazette had reported.
“Before the travel ban following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, foreign pilgrims were allowed to stay in Saudi Arabia for up to 30 days. When the temporary ban on Umrah pilgrims was lifted and service resumed on November 1, 2021, foreign pilgrims were allowed to stay in the kingdom for ten days,” the report said.
Moreover, as long as the foreign pilgrims come from countries that are not subject to a travel ban, and as long as they are vaccinated with the approved vaccines, they can now arrive directly in Mecca and perform Umrah without the need for institutional quarantine.
Under the new easing, all foreign pilgrims aged 18 and over will be allowed to enter the kingdom and perform Umrah, under the conditions set by the ministry.
Among domestic pilgrims, persons 12 years and older are allowed to perform Umrah.