A 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 (COVID-19) restrictions, in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, October 3, 2020. Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: Only vaccinated or immune worshippers will be given permits to perform Umrah and regular prayers at the Grand Mosque in Mecca and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina during the holy month of Ramadan, state news agency SPA said on Monday.

According to the Saudi Ministry of Haj and Umrah, permits will be granted to worshippers who have already got the two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, or those who took the first dose 14 days before applying to obtain the permit and those who recovered from the infection already.

The permits can be obtained through the Eatmarna and Tawakkalna apps available on the ministry’s website.

Accordingly, only pilgrims and worshipers with valid permits for performing Umrah or regular prayers will be allowed to enter the two holy cities of Mecca and Medina during the fasting month.

Pilgrims and worshipers have been urged to adhere to the deadline specified in the permit and comply with the precautionary measures and preventive protocols.

Security forces have been deployed at the main entry points of Mecca and Medina ahead of Ramadan to provide guidance, humanitarian services and ensure the smooth traffic flow into the two holy cities.

They will intensify patrols to ensure smooth traffic flow and prevent any reckless or disruptive acts targeting travelers along the roads to Mecca and Medina.