Saudi Arabia to welcome foreign pilgrims from Nov 1

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Haj Site
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Saudi Arabia is all set to welcome foreign pilgrims between the age of 18 and 50 to perform Umrah from November 1 (Rabi Al-Awwal 15). 

The recent decision comes as the Kingdom enters into its third phase of the gradual relaxation of Umrah services for pilgrims.

Mandatory 3-day quarantine 

Authorities have mandated a 3-day quarantine upon arrival for all pilgrims as per the precautionary measures and preventive protocols issued by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.

Officials have mandated all Umrah companies and establishments to adhere to the ministry’s regulations and restraints to control the reception of pilgrims from outside the Kingdom.

COVID-19 Test Certificate

Regulations mandate that every pilgrim should carry a negative PCR test result which is not older than 72 hours from the time the sample was taken and the time of departure to the Kingdom.

Advanced Reservations through Eatmarna

All pilgrims are expected to use Saudi’s Eatmarna application to obtain necessary reservations to perform Umrah as well as to visit the Two Holy Mosques and prayer at Rawdah Sharif.

Travelers also need to provide proof of booking a return flight ticket in accordance with the approved program for each pilgrim.

Comprehensive Background Checks 

Every Umrah company (regional and foreign) will have to verify the accuracy of the information shared by the pilgrims including their date of birth, flight specifics, accommodation details at Makkah and Madinah with the Umrah system not later than 34 hours before the arrival date. The data of confirmed airline tickets for each pilgrim will also be entered into the system.

Umrah company will have to divide pilgrims in a group of 50 with a dedicated leader for each group. All of them are expected to have uniform services, including aviation, housing and transportation coinciding with the date of reservation for performing Umrah and visiting the Holy Mosques in line with the Eatmarna app system for foreign pilgrims.