201008 Umrah
Pilgrims practice social distancing while praying around the Kaaba. Image Credit: Saudi Ministry of Haj and Umrah.

Dubai: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has increased the number of Umrah pilgrims to 70,000 per day from today (Wednesday), state media said.

With a daily capacity of up to 70,000 Umrah performers, the overall number of pilgrims has been increased to 2.1 million per month, according to a statement issued by state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The ministry said that the issuance of Umrah permits will be issued through the “Etamarna and Tawakalna” app, and only vaccinated people can apply.

The Kingdom resumed receiving vaccinated foreign Umrah pilgrims on August 9 following the Hajj season.

All domestic Umrah pilgrims must be vaccinated, said Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Abdul Fattah Sulaiman Mashat. A proof of this will be displayed on the Tawakalna app. They must have either received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine or have completed 14 days after receiving their first dose, or must have recently recovered from the infection.

As for Umrah pilgrims coming from abroad, they must obtain a vaccination certificate issued by comptenet authorities in their respective countries and this must be attached along with their application. Furthermore, they must be vaccinated with a vaccine approved by Saudi Arabia.

For pilgrims coming from countries which are on Saudi’ Arabia's travel red list, they must institutionally quarantine upon arrival in the kingdom before performing Umrah.

Mashat said the ministry has worked in coordination with several authorities to ensure smooth performance of Umrah and develop mechanisms to create a safe and accessible environment for pilgrims.