The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah according to Okaz announced that International pilgrims will be allowed to stay in the Kingdom for 10 days
The Ministry also announced that all prayers in Masjid Al Haram, Rawdah Al Shareefah, and visitation to the Rawdah of Prophet Muhammad (May Peace and Blessings of Allah be Upon Him) will only be allowed through a valid permit which needs be obtained through the “Eatmarna App”
Among precautionary measures for International Pilgrims, the Ministry ordered a 3 day mandatory Quarantine on arrival and eligible pilgrims between the ages of 18-50.
The third phase of the gradual resumption of Umrah will commence from Sunday, 15 Rabi Al Awwal (1st November 2020) after which the limitation of Umrah performing pilgrims will be increased to 20,000 from 15,000 and for prayers in Masjid Al Haram to 60,000 from 40,000.
RIYADH: Video footage captured the dramatic moment a car was driven at high speed across the southern square courtyard of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, before finally smashing into one of the doors on Friday night.
Saudi security authorities then arrested a man who was pulled from the car, state news agency SPA reported.
Reports suggest the car was driven at high speed on a road surrounding the southern square the Grand Mosque, also known Masjid Haramain, SPA added, quoting the official spokesman of Makkah region, Sultan Al-Dossari.
He said the incident happened at around 10:30 p.m..
No one was hurt in the incident the report added.
Investigators said the driver of the car was a Saudi citizen who was “in an abnormal condition.”
The offender is being referred to the Public Prosecution office, it said.
They can stay for up to 10 days, three of which are in isolation
November 01, 2020
MAKKAH: Some 10,000 international pilgrims are arriving in Saudi Arabia after a seven-month hiatus to perform Umrah and visit the Prophet’s mosque on the first day of the third stage of the resumption of Umrah.
According to Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Amr Al-Maddah, the 10,000 pilgrims arriving from abroad must first obtain a permit. Upon arrival, pilgrims must isolate for three days before being transported to Miqat sites, principle boundaries at which pilgrims intending to perform Umrah must change into Ihrams.
They can stay in the Kingdom for up to 10 days, three of which are in isolation. As per protocol, 500 groups of international pilgrims are dispersed throughout the day, each with 20 pilgrims. The maximum age limit for international pilgrims is set at 50.
The deputy minister added that countries are subject to continuous evaluation by the Saudi Center for Disease Prevention and Control and the Ministry of Health as part of the government’s approved standards and protocols. Visas for pilgrims arriving from countries that are seeing a noticeable increase in numbers will be placed on hold until further assessment.
More than 1.4 million are using the Eatmarna app as downloads near 3 million. One million permits have been issued for performing prayers and Umrah.
With the start of the third stage, the holy mosques will be working at 100 percent operation, a pivotal stage for companies in the sector. Al-Maddah added that if at any stage there is a cause for concern or danger to pilgrims, the ministry will evaluate the situation and return to previous stages and decrease capacity.
Currently, Saudia is the only certified airline allowed to transport pilgrims to and from the Kingdom. Pilgrims arriving from countries from which the carrier does not operate must arrange through a third party, accounted for by the Kingdom.
Pilgrims must have a health guide provided by Umrah companies to monitor each group throughout their visit. Pilgrims must also have full health insurance that includes emergency treatment if infected and a possible PCR test.
The flight carrying Pakistani pilgrims arrived at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah
They were greeted by Hajj and Umrah Minister Mohammed Saleh Benten
November 01, 2020
LONDON: The first flight carrying international Umrah pilgrims arrived in Saudi Arabia on Sunday after restrictions to curb COVID-19 were lifted.
The flight carrying Pakistani pilgrims arrived at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and they were greeted by Hajj and Umrah Minister Mohammed Saleh Benten.
International pilgrims are being allowed to perform Umrah as part of the third stage of the Kingdom’s plan to safely resume the pilgrimage amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
During the third stage, the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah will be working at 100 percent operation.
Strict preventative measures are being taken to ensure the safety of all pilgrims.
ISLAMABAD: Pakistani pilgrims arriving in Saudi Arabia this week for Umrah said they felt blessed to be among the few hundred foreigners performing the holy ritual, following a loosening of travel bans to check the spread of coronavirus.
Saudi Arabia closed its borders in February to foreign Umrah pilgrims and, in March, stopped its own citizens and residents from taking part in order to contain the spread of the virus. In July, the Kingdom allowed a limited number of domestic pilgrims to perform Hajj.
Umrah can be performed at any time of the year in contrast to Hajj, which has specific dates according to the Islamic lunar calendar.
“I am feeling blessed as I was waiting for this moment for the last seven months,” Pakistani pilgrim Umair Mushtaq, who is leading a group of 38, told Arab News from Makkah.
He praised the arrangements ministries had made for pilgrims at Jeddah airport.
“The Saudi Ministry of Hajj gave us very good protocol. They are providing us food in the (hotel) room for the first three days, which is the mandatory period of quarantine.”
Pilgrims have to take a coronavirus test after three days before they are allowed into the Grand Mosque to perform Umrah.
“I feel out of this world,” Musadaq Malik said after arriving in Makkah on the first flight carrying Pakistani pilgrims. “Only a few hundred people got this chance of performing Umrah out of the total 1.5 billion Muslims in the world. I don’t have words to explain my feelings. I am waiting anxiously for the remaining two days to pass so that we can finally perform Umrah and offer prayers in the Grand Mosque.”
He thanked Saudi authorities for their welcome at Jeddah airport. “They have made arrangements according to WHO (World Health Organization) instructions,” he added.
Sajid Masood, Pakistan’s director of Hajj in Jeddah, said that Saudi Arabia had changed all protocols so that pilgrims could observe coronavirus precautions at airports.
“The arrangements are very impressive and they (Saudis) have given a warm welcome to Pakistani pilgrims at Jeddah airport,” Masood said. “I myself visited the hotel where Pakistani pilgrims are staying and it is completely disinfected.”
He said authorities had also installed thermal gates at various places to check the spread of coronavirus.
MAKKAH: Eighty students from the Grand Mosque Institute have taken part in volunteer work at Makkah’s Grand Mosque following the gradual return of pilgrims and worshippers.
The students worked a combined total of 240 hours per day, or three hours per student, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Supervised by the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, volunteers guided worshippers and pilgrims toward prayer areas, and ensured social distancing in halls and corridors while performing Umrah.
The administration has been following up on anything hindering the movement of crowds and searching for solutions, in coordination with the presidency and security bodies
November 08, 2020
MAKKAH: Crowd management at the Grand Mosque has been organizing the flow of worshippers and pilgrims to and from the mosque, in coordination with the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques and other authorities.
The management has taken several measures to ensure pilgrims can perform Umrah in ease and peace. It is also taking into consideration the precautionary and preventive measures adopted by the presidency.
Since the start of the Umrah season, the management has organized the arrival and departure of 920,000 worshippers and 408,000 Umrah pilgrims to the mosque, representing 75 percent of total capacity.
The administration has been following up on anything hindering the movement of crowds and searching for solutions, in coordination with the presidency and security bodies.
Strict health protocols have enabled a gradual increase in pilgrim numbers
November 11, 2020
MAKKAH: As the Kingdom is getting back on track after earlier lockdowns, plans to maintain services for pilgrims while adhering to strict health protocols are proving a success.
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said that 788,038 people had performed Umrah in total since the gradual resumption of Umrah rituals began on Oct. 4. The third phase, which started on Nov. 1, permitted pilgrims from abroad to perform the ritual alongside residents of the Kingdom.
Saudi Arabia suspended Umrah in March and significantly downsized the Hajj pilgrimage in July by only allowing about 1,000 pilgrims, all in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an interview with Arab News, Dr. Amr Al-Maddah, undersecretary at the Ministry for Hajj and Umrah, noted that all visas from abroad that have been filed through accredited agents and the offices of certified Umrah companies have been accepted, provided they fulfilled the necessary requirements.
He said that tourist offices abroad are following their contracts with the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah so that pilgrims can come to perform Umrah rituals.
The undersecretary said in the first phase of Umrah, which lasted for 14 days, 84,000 pilgrims were received — 6,000 people per day. “210,000 pilgrims performed Umrah rituals during the second phase, which lasted for 14 days, at a 15,000-pilgrims capacity per day.” Last week Al-Maddah said, “four groups totaling nearly 1,000 pilgrims came from abroad.”
Meanwhile, Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques called for an increase in the number of paths around the Kaaba to accommodate the increased number of pilgrims performing Umrah and to allocate paths for the elderly and people with disabilities, as well as paths for those in wheelchairs.
Al-Maddah said that during the third phase, the regulatory protocols will be reviewed to streamline services for the pilgrims and assess any required changes.
Those applying for Umrah from abroad must be between 18 and 50 years old, in accordance with the requirements of the Ministry of Health. They must also submit their COVID-19 negative RT-PCR test, issued by a reliable laboratory and taken 72 hours prior to leaving for Saudi Arabia.
Pilgrims must book through the Eatmarna application to perform Umrah, pray in the Grand Mosque, visit the Prophet’s Mosque and pray in the Prophet’s Sacred Chamber in the Prophet’s Mosque, in accordance with the regulations and available capacity. Each pilgrim must also have confirmed return air tickets.
Al-Maddah stressed: “Pilgrims who have booked only an appointment for prayer cannot perform Umrah because they will not be able to enter the Tawaf area.”
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Religious Affairs Ministry's Umrah and Special Hajj Acting Director, Oman Fathurahman said Indonesia would resume sending umrah pilgrims after evaluating cases of 13 pilgrims in the first and second group who were tested positive for Covid-19 in Saudi Arabia.
“There has been no departure [of Umrah pilgrims] since November 8.
Yesterday, we were informed that the visa can be processed again. Hopefully, in the next few days, there will be more departures,” said Oman in a written statement on Friday, November 20, 2020.
Oman asserted that the government would tighten the implementation of the health protocols in organizing umrah pilgrimages amid the pandemic.
“The Religious Affairs Ministry will strengthen the coordination with the Health Ministry, BNPB (the National Disaster Mitigation Agency), and the Saudi authorities to be more stringent in implementing health protocols for prospective umrah pilgrims,” he said.
According to Oman, the government would validate the result of swab tests of prospective pilgrims and conduct a quarantine program before their departure.
The Ministry would also monitor and ensure that the pilgrimage trip provider (PPIU) complies with all provisions mandated in the ministerial decree No. 719/2020 on the guidelines for umrah pilgrimage during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We will not hesitate to issue a warning or sanction if there is a violation because this is about the safety of all,” Oman said.
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.
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