Grand Mosque pilgrims no longer required to show proof of vaccination

Many express relief as precautionary measures are eased at Makkah and Madinah

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The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah have announced that visitors no longer need to show proof of vaccination to enter the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, starting on Thursday.

Pilgrims travelling from abroad also no longer need to register their vaccination status to obtain an Umrah permit.

Some pilgrims voiced their pleasure over the move.

"I am so glad! I am booking my Saudi visa to come perform Umrah in Ramadan and honestly I'm relieved that we won't have to go through the process of doing PCRs, booking prayer permits every time we want to go to the Haram," said Yassin Khan, a British citizen living in Dubai.

Pilgrims travelling to the kingdom no longer have to quarantine or provide a rapid Covid-19 test, the Interior Ministry announced this week.

Social distancing measures in the grand mosques were also cancelled, in addition to wearing masks.

The ministry announced the availability of Umrah permits for the holy month of Ramadan via the Eatmarna and Tawakkalna applications.

The General Administration for Co-ordination of Voluntary Work on Thursday met the community development association to discuss strengthening the volunteer system at the mosques.

The relevant parties will determine the working times and expected numbers of volunteers for Ramadan this year.

The Emir of Madinah participated in weaving the covering of the Kaaba in the exhibition accompanying the 21st Scientific Forum for Hajj, Umrah and Visitation Research earlier on Thursday.

The Emir stopped by the process and helped with weaving the Kiswah, the cloth covering the Kaaba.

Thirty Islamic scholars are available around the clock at the Grand Mosque in Makkah to answer worshippers’ questions, while electronic guidance robots are also on hand for any queries. Numbers of visitors are expected to rise during Ramadan.

Updated: March 10, 2022, 2:33 PM