Saudi Arabia has said pilgrims can now obtain permits through the Nusuk app to perform Umrah during Ramadan.
The kingdom's Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said the platform will help domestic and international pilgrims to find available dates to perform Umrah, based on the capacity of the Grand Mosque in Makkah.
To be eligible for a permit, pilgrims arriving from other countries must have a valid visa, the ministry said.
Saudi residents can also obtain permits through the Tawakkalna app, provided that they do not have Covid-19.
The ministry urged all who wish to perform Umrah during Ramadan to ensure they obtain the required permits and stick to the specified date, to help avoid overcrowding.
Pilgrims are only permitted to perform the ritual once during Ramadan.
The app can be downloaded from the Apple Store and Google Play.
In related news, Saudi Arabia announced on Thursday that the tourist visa application process has been simplified for GCC residents.
They can apply online through the government’s Visit Saudi platform, with the simplified process allowing them “to explore the various regions of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and perform Umrah rituals”.
The official Saudi Press Agency said the move is part of “the Ministry of Tourism's efforts to provide an opportunity for residents in the GCC states to visit tourist destinations, participate in tourism and entertainment events, and explore the heritage and historical sites of the kingdom”.
The fee for the visa is $80 and the travel document will be sent to the applicant's email upon approval.