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The Financial Express

Saudi Arabia to allow only ‘vaccinated or recovered’ pilgrims to Makkah

| Updated: April 06, 2021 19:39:04


A small group of worshippers pray at Kaaba in the Grand Mosque while practicing social distancing, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), during the holy month of Ramadan, in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, May 4, 2020 — Saudi Press Agency/Handout via Reuters/File Photo A small group of worshippers pray at Kaaba in the Grand Mosque while practicing social distancing, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), during the holy month of Ramadan, in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, May 4, 2020 — Saudi Press Agency/Handout via Reuters/File Photo

Only pilgrims and worshippers who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 or have recovered from coronavirus will be allowed into the Grand Mosque in Makkah, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said on Monday, Arab News reports.

Umrah permits and visit permits for the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah will increase operational capacity during the month of Ramadan, which begins next week, according to the report.

The permits will be granted to those who have received two vaccination jabs, those who have received a first dose at least 14 days before their visit to Madinah and Makkah, and those who have had the virus and recovered, the report says.

Each person’s vaccination status will need to be registered on Saudi Arabia’s Covid-19 app, Tawakkalna. The app was launched last year to help track coronavirus infections. Those who wish to visit the two mosques or perform Umrah will have to register via the Tawakkalna app and the Umrah app Eatmarna, the Saudi daily notes.

Registrations will be accommodated according to the space and availability of the two mosques and in accordance with health restrictions. The Tawakkalna and Eatmarna apps are the only platforms available to issue genuine permits, and the ministry warned the public against resorting to bogus websites and application forms, it adds.

Nearly 10,000 Grand Mosque workers have already been inoculated as part of the Ramadan operational plan. The courtyard around the Kaaba and the first floor will be designated for pilgrims performing Tawaf only. Five areas will be available for prayers at the Grand Mosque, including the eastern courtyard, Arab news reports.

More than 13 million worshippers wearing masks and observing physical distancing rules have visited the mosques since the seven-month prayer and Umrah suspension was lifted last October, according to the report.

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