Saudi Arabia: Vaccine required to enter Prophet’s Mosque, permit needed for Umrah

A fine of $2,666 will be imposed on anyone who tries to perform Umrah without a permit: official source

  
Muslims, keeping a safe social distance, perform Umrah at the Grand Mosque after Saudi authorities ease coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions, in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, October 4, 2020.

Muslims, keeping a safe social distance, perform Umrah at the Grand Mosque after Saudi authorities ease coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions, in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, October 4, 2020.

REUTERS/Marwa Rashad
 
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has announced that only vaccinated or immune worshippers will be allowed to enter the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah and that pilgrims who perform Umrah without a permit during Ramadan will be fined SR10,000 ($2,666) in a bid to prevent spread of the coronavirus.

An official source in the Ministry of Interior said that a fine of SR10,000 will be imposed on anyone who tries to perform Umrah without a permit, while an SR1,000 fine will be handed to people who try and enter the Grand Mosque in Makkah without a permit.

These penalties will remain in place until the end of the coronavirus pandemic. The ministry is seeking to ensure that all precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus are followed.

Meanwhile, as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the Kingdom continues to increase, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah confirmed the launch of the updated versions of the Eatmarna and Tawakkalna applications, in cooperation with the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority.

Through the new versions, citizens and residents can request the issuance and reservations of Umrah, visit and prayer permits during the holy month of Ramadan, with the display of permits being exclusive to the Tawakkalna app.

This technical integration looks to increase operational capacity and maintain precautionary measures inside the Grand Mosque in Makkah, and to verify the security features and immunization status of permit applicants.

The ministry stressed the importance of adhering to preventive measures and applying for permits through the official platforms.

After the Ministry of Commerce earlier warned commercial establishments against using social media influencers to promote their products, seven people were arrested for violations.

The Ministry of Health announced 904 new coronavirus cases on Friday, bringing the Kingdom’s total case number over the course of the pandemic to 396,758.

Of Saudi Arabia’s 7,823 active cases, 898 are in critical condition.

There were 540 new recoveries in the Kingdom, raising the tally to 382,198.

The ministry said that nine more people died from coronavirus-related complications, raising the national death toll to 6,737.

In terms of vaccinations, the Kingdom has administered more than 6 million coronavirus jabs with the MOH announcing that residents older than the age of 75 no longer need to reserve time slots to receive the vaccine.

As part of health measures, 526 mosques have been temporarily closed over the past 61 days, of which 502 mosques have reopened after full sanitization.

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