Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: Overseas pilgrims who wish to perform Umrah are not required to show a negative PCR or a rapid antigen test report upon their arrival in Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced.

The ministry confirmed that the PCR test is not mandatory for international worshippers. The move aims to ease restrictions for Umrah pilgrims with the start of the new Umrah season that commenced four days ago. However, health insurance to cover COVID-19 treatment costs is still a condition for foreign pilgrims entering the Kingdom to perform Umrah rituals.

Pilgrims on Umrah visas can only stay up to 90 days, during which they can move and travel to Mecca, Medina and other Saudi cities. The ministry has introduced an online Umrah programme for foreign pilgrims. The pilgrims can choose this programme directly, without an intermediary, during the new annual Umrah season.

They can apply for the issuance of Umrah visas through the approved e-platforms for Umrah services.

Meanwhile, the ministry said that unvaccinated worshippers could pray in the Grand Mosque in Mecca and Prophet Mohammed’s Mosque in Medina and obtain permits via the app Eatmarna, provided they are not infected or contacted a COVID-19 patient.