Saudi Arabia set to allow foreign Umrah pilgrims from November 1

The Hajj and Umrah Ministry announced the arrest of several people who violated the strict safety measures to protect pilgrims from Covi-19

Saudi Arabia to allow foreign pilgrims to return from November 1

Saudi Arabia to allow foreign pilgrims to return from November 1
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Saudi Arabia's Hajj and Umrah Ministry is set to welcome foreign pilgrims to Makkah again from November 1 with an expanded set of safety requirements to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Saudi Arabia closed its borders and suspended Umrah in March amid the global pandemic. But in October, it began allowing a limited number of pilgrims to return to the great mosque in Makkah and to undertake Umrah.

Pilgrims aged between 18 and 50 wishing to undertake Umrah must have an up-to-date PCR Covid-19 test issued by a reliable laboratory within the last 72 hours before travel to enter the kingdom.

They must also have a confirmed round-trip booking and reserve a time slot for Umrah at the Great Mosque and Prophet's Mosque in Madinah, the website of the Hajj and Umrah Ministry.

Pilgrims must also quarantine for three days upon arrival and take out comprehensive insurance.

Tens of thousands of Saudis have now undertaken Umrah since it began again on October 4 and no confirmed Covid-19 cases have been detected among the faithful.

But, on Monday, the ministry also announced a number of arrests for people violating the Covid-19 health regulations.

The ministry reiterated the importance of following all the health guidelines while preforming the rituals - wearing masks, sanitising hands regularly, maintaining social distancing and keeping to allotted time slots.

Saudi Arabia has recorded 345,232 confirmed infections to date, the highest number of Covid-19 cases in the GCC, So far, 331,691 people have recovered and 5,313 have died.

The kingdom implemented strict measures to try and cut the infection rate but in recent weeks has eased up travel restrictions and removed curfews.