RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA
Saudi Arabia announced on Sunday that beginning Monday applications for Muslim pilgrims wishing to perform umrah from abroad will be received and 2 million requests will be accepted per month.
The Saudi news agency SPA cited Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Abdulfattah bin Sulaiman Mashat, who said his ministry “has worked in coordination with other concerned authorities prior to the start of the Umrah season 2021/2022, to develop executive mechanisms and create a safe and accessible environment for the Umrah performers throughout their journey to achieve security, safety, and human health.”
A total of 60,000 umrah performers divided into eight operating periods will increase to 2 million per month, it added.
Applications will be made through an integrated system of services and preventive measures.
Mashat said the ministry is working “to determine the countries from which Umrah performers come, and their numbers on a periodic basis according to the classification of preventive measures, and the requirements for the countries from which the Umrah performers and visitors come to the Kingdom.”
Umrah is a voluntary pilgrimage to Mecca that Muslims can perform at any time of the year. It was suspended in February 2020 because of fears of the coronavirus outbreak.
Due to the pandemic, umrah was limited to Saudis and foreign residents of the kingdom who were allowed to perform the ritual at the Grand Mosque at 30% capacity or 6,000 people per day.