Cairo: Muslim pilgrims wishing to modify the schedules of their permits, allowing them to undertake Umrah or the lesser pilgrimage in the Grand Mosque in Mecca, are urged to do this before their permits take effect, a Saudi newspaper has said.
The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has ruled out changes in the Umrah permits after their specified timings come into effect, according to Okaz.
The ministry said that holders of the Umrah permits can cancel the timing via the smartphone ap “Eatmarna” four hours at most before the permit becomes due and apply for a new permit. In case of cancelling the schedule after the permit becomes due, the holder would not be able to reserve a new permit before the elapse 10 days.
The restriction is due to the latest precautions in place in the two holy mosques in Mecca and Medina to limit the spread of COVID-19.
The ministry has denied reports that Umrah trips will be suspended for some categories of worshippers due to a recent spike in the COVID-19 infections.
In October 2020, Saudi Arabia resumed Umrah after about seven months of suspension due to the global pandemic.
Last month, Saudi authorities said that wearing face masks and social distancing were reimposed in outdoor and indoor places amid an increase in COVID-19 infections.
Authorities have also reintroduced distancing in the two holy mosques after it was cancelled in October.