MAKKAH — The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced on Thursday that it has stopped issuing Umrah permits through the Nusuk application for period of one month effective from Thursday, Dhul Qada 15, corresponding to May 23. This is aimed at enabling Hajj pilgrims, who started flocking to Makkah from all over the world, to perform their rituals in ease and comfort. The Nusuk App will resume issuing Umrah visa from Dhul Hijjah 15, corresponding to June 21, the ministry said in a statement.

The Hajj Ministry’s directive comes in conjunction with the Ministry of Interior’s announcement that it will not allow anyone holding visit visas of any type to enter or remain in Makkah, starting from May 23 until June 21. The ministry reiterated that the visit visas of all types and under any names will not be considered as a permit for its holder to perform Hajj.

The Ministry of Interior urged all those, who hold a visit visa, not to go to Makkah nor stay there during the specified period announced, while stressing that whoever violates this rule will be imposed with penalties prescribed in the law and regulations that are in force in Saudi Arabia.

It is noteworthy that the Ministry of Interior announced recently that it will start imposing fines amounting to SR10,000 on violators, including Saudi citizens, expatriates and visitors who are caught while entering Makkah without a Hajj permit during the period from June 2 until June 20.

The penalties will be slapped on anyone who is caught without a Hajj permit within the holy city of Makkah, the Central Haram Area, the Holy Sites of Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah, the Haramain train station in Rusayfah, security control centers, pilgrims’ grouping centers and temporary security control centers.

The ministry emphasized that it will double the fine against violators, reaching up to SR100,000 in the event of repeating the violation. Expatriates among the violators will be deported to their country and a ban on reentering the Kingdom will be imposed on them in accordance with the periods specified by law.

The ministry stated earlier that the penalty for anyone, who is caught while transporting violators of Hajj regulations and instructions, is imprisonment for a period of up to six months and a maximum fine of SR50,000. The penalties also include demanding confiscation of the vehicle used to transport the violators through a judicial ruling, and deportation of the violating transporter if he is an expatriate after serving the jail term and payment of fine. The violator will be banned from reentering the Kingdom according to the periods specified by law. Fines will be increased in accordance with the number of violators who were provided with transportation.

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