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Saudi Arabia limits Umrah pilgrimage for overseas Muslims


CAIRO: Saudi Arabia has limited permits for performing Umrah or lesser pilgrimage for overseas Muslims aged 18 to 50 years, Gulf News reported.

Overseas pilgrims are also required to be fully inoculated against the Covid-19 before travelling to the kingdom, with vaccines recognised in Saudi Arabia and to present an officially endorsed vaccination certificate to obtain an electronic entry visa via a platform of the Saudi Foreign Ministry, the kingdom’s Ministry of Umrah and Hajj said.

The ministry has recently launched a service, enabling the overseas Umrah pilgrims to obtain permits for performing the rituals in the Grand Mosque in Makkah and pray in the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) Mosque in Medinah through the health apps Eatmarna and Tawakkalna in an effort to facilitate procedures for them.

Domestic pilgrims and worshippers have to obtain similar permits and avoid escorting children in the Grand Mosque.

Last month, Saudi Arabia eased restrictions against the Covid-19 pandemic, as the epidemiological situation in the country has stabilised amid a sharp decline in infections.

The relaxed measures include ending distancing for worshippers in the two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Medina where full capacity has been reinstated.

However, worshippers are required to continue to wear face masks at both mosques.

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