The first group of pilgrims, allowed in the mosque compound by appointment, practice social distancing, as they perform Umrah in the Grand Mosque, after Saudi authorities ease coronavirus restrictions, in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, October 3, 2020. Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: Saudi Arabia has announced that foreign pilgrims aged 12 years and above will be allowed to enter the Kingdom and perform Umrah, local media reported.

According to the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, the earlier decision to allow only foreign pilgrims aged 18 and above to perform pilgrimage has been rescinded.

Accordingly, all the citizens and residents in the Kingdom as well as GCC citizens and foreign pilgrims aged 12 and above can obtain permits to perform Umrah, pray at the Grand Mosque in Mecca and Al Rawdah Al Sharif at Prophet’s Mosque in Medina and visit the grave of the Prophet (PBUH).

Foreigners aged 12 and above can apply to obtain permit provided that their health status is 'immune' on the Tawakkalna app.

The Hajj ministry said GCC citizens must register proof of their vaccination status on the Muqeem platform before their entry in the Kingdom. They have to register on the Tawakkalna and Eatmarna apps after their arrival in the Kingdom.

Those coming from abroad must register proof of the vaccine status on the Qudoom platform before entering Saudi Arabia, and register on the Tawakkalna and Eatmarna applications after arrival in the Kingdom.

After updating the health status on the Tawakkalna app, GCC citizens and foreign pilgrims can book permits for Umrah and prayer at the Grand Mosque, as well as for prayer at Al Rawdah Al Sharif and visit the Prophet’s grave.

The Umrah company will issue the necessary permits for pilgrims coming with an Umrah visa from outside Saudi Arabia.

Though social distancing measures were lifted, pilgrims were still required to wear face masks and make reservations to perform Umrah and prayer at the Grand Mosque.