International Pilgrims begin Umrah after 7 months!
Worshipers will also be permitted to visit Rawdah Sharif and the old mosque area at the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina from Oct. 18 onward. The extensions and courtyards of the Prophet’s Mosque had already been opened for worshipers for obligatory prayers effective from May 31 this year.
Hani Al-Omairi, a member of the Saudi National Committee for Hajj and Umrah, told Okaz/Saudi Gazette that more than 600,000 worshipers will be granted permits to perform prayers at the Grand Mosque along with over 250,000 Umrah pilgrims during the second phase of the gradual resumption of Umrah service and visit to the Two Holy Mosques. Worshipers need to register through the Eatmarna App to obtain permits to perform Umrah as well as to visit the Grand Mosque and Rawdah Sharif.
Saudi Arabia lifting restrictions
Saudi Arabia has partially lifted its suspension of international flights to allow “exceptional categories” of citizens and residents to travel. Saudi Arabia suspended all international flights in March to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The kingdom will scrap all travel restrictions on air, land and sea transport for citizens on January 1, 2021, an Interior Ministry official told the agency.
Those eligible to travel include military and public employees, diplomats and families, workers in regional and international organisations, those with permanent jobs outside the kingdom, and businessmen.
Foreign pilgrims will be allowed to perform Umrah and visit the Rawdah from Nov. 1, which marks the beginning of the third phase of the gradual lifting of the temporary suspension of the service.
Al-Omairi, who is also a member of the Saudi Society for Travel and Tourism, said that it is not clear now how many countries will be allowed to send their pilgrims for Umrah due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in those countries.
“All are expecting that the authorities would soon announce details of the countries from where pilgrims can come to perform Umrah effective from the third phase of the resumption of Umrah service,” he said, Alkhaleejtoday website reported.