Best Umrah Guide After Covid-19 2023/2024 – What Has Changed?
A lot has changed over the last two years and even those who travel frequently are unsure about local rules and procedures when arriving for Umrah.
Pilgrim has put together the ultimate guide to Umrah after Covid with the guidance of our colleagues based in the Kingdom.
1.) Ensure you are eligible to go to Umrah
Any national from any country except red list countries pilgrims must quarantine in a third country which isn’t in the red list for at least 14 days.
Which countries are restricted for going to Umrah?
Restricted countries include
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- Republic of Indonesia
- and any country where the pandemic remains unstable.
The List of these countries is prone to change and so we advise that you check with airlines or your travel agent before planning a trip.
2.) Complete the Muqeem Form Before Travel
Any nationals, travelling with any airlines must have completed the two doses of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia approved vaccinations. They must have completed the “Muqeem” form to register their vaccination status at least 24 hours before arriving in Saudi Arabia.
Pilgrims must also have taken out a PCR test within 72 hours of their arrival into the Kingdom.
Related Links:- https://muqeem.sa/#/vaccine-registration/home
3.) Apply for Umrah Visa
49 Eligible country’s citizens can enter with tourist visa, all remaining countries need to apply for Umrah visa through an approved Umrah travel agent.
You can apply for your visa here.
Related Link: https://visa.visitsaudi.com/
4.) Present Muqeem Papers To Ministry of Health
When you arrive in any international airport in the Kingdom, you will first have to pass the Ministry of Health checks. Officials will review your Muqeem papers, vaccination certificates and your PCR papers. If your papers are accepted, they will update your details onto their local system.
Thereafter you will proceed to immigration who will provide you with a arrival reference number into your passport, you can then collect your luggage and continue towards customs.
5.) Activate The Eatmarna and Tawakalna Applications
Eatmarna – This is for permits.
We advise that you download the Eatmarna application onto your phone before arriving in the Kingdom.
Open the app and complete the steps to apply for your Umrah permit. Note that you will need access to the internet to do this. You may need to purchase a local sim card from the airport or access the airport wifi to do this.
Tawakkalna – This is proof of your vaccination.
Open the application and click sign up, enter your passport number, nationality date of birth and Saudi mobile number and then agree to the terms and conditions.
You will receive a verification code, enter it to complete the registration.
Note: Ensure your mobile number is the same for all applications.
6.) Other things to know about Umrah after Covid-19
How do you use Eatamarna application for Umrah?
The Eatmarna provides permits for Umrah, prayers in Grand mosque of Makkah and noble Rawdah visit in Madina. You do not need permits to pray in Masjid Al Nabawi.
To book on the app, you click the service you need and then select a date from the available dates. Then select a time and assembly point. Assembly points are where you enter from to the Haram such as King Abdulaziz gate is the nearest option for anyone living in hotels within clock tower or ajyad and Misfalah area, and Shubaika for anyone living any hotels within Jabal Omar towers or nearby.
What are the assembly points?
- King Abdulaziz gate
- Shubaika Centre
- Kudai parking
- Jamarat parking
Sometimes you may not find any assembly points except the ones that require transport such as Kudai parking or Jamarat parking. Go ahead and select any option near to you and they should allow you to use any assembly point.
However, if you are coming from Masjid Al Aisha or any miqat then you shall go through your actual assembly point as per the permit and you will be required to buy transport which costs SR20.
Will I be able to book Umrah straight after my flight? and what to do If I can’t?
This depends on the visa you are travelling on. If you are traveling on a tourism visa, the Eatmarna application will automatically detect your arrival date and will not issue the permit before a minimum of 72 hours after your arrival. Once you arrive, It will offer you various slots for you to select from. Each slot allows you a maximum of three hours to complete your Umrah.
Visiting The Rawdah
If you wish to pray or visit the Rawdah and give Salam, you should apply for a permit through the Eatmarna app. You can apply separately for a salutation visit only. On the permitted time and date you will have to join a queue which starts from the north side of the masjid just off the court building or near Pullman ZamZam. You can apply for repeated visits to Rawdah at any time.
Can I register and apply for permits while from home?
No applications for Umrah, prayers or Rawdah visits can be made outside of the Kingdom. You can only apply for this once you progress past the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia immigration control.
Keep Your Phone Charged
You must ensure your handset is charged as you have to show your Tawakkalana clearance to security wherever you go., ie, Bin Dawood or restaurants, or shops or malls or entering the Masjid Nabawi or getting on a coach. You will be asked for it everywhere and entry may be refused if you cannot produce it.
Where can I do a PCR test before returning back from Umrah?
There are many laboratories within Makkah, Madina and Jeddah approved from the Ministry of health of Saudi Arabia to do PCR test. You can visit them to give the sample, or you can order a PCR test from your hotel which is usually a little more expensive.