Muslim pilgrims perform the final walk (Tawaf al-Wadaa) around the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in the Saudi holy city of Mecca on November 30, 2009. The annual Muslim hajj pilgrimage to Mecca wound up without the feared mass outbreak of swine flu, Saudi authorities said, reporting a total of five deaths and 73 proven cases. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has stated that pilgrims from abroad must be between the ages of 18 and 50 to perform the holy Umrah. The 15-day interval for granting permission for the next Umrah after the first Umrah has been waived.
The move is part of a precautionary measure against the Kovid situation. Visa applicants from abroad are required to complete travel arrangements through official travel agencies contracted with Saudi Umrah companies. Approved Kovid vaccine doses must be completed before the Umrah journey. The ministry also said that documents for issuing electronic visas must be submitted through the Saudi Foreign Ministry’s website. However, the ministry said that domestic Umrah pilgrims above the age of 12 will be allowed. The requirement is to take two doses of Kovid vaccine.
After obtaining the Umrah permit through the Ithamarna and Tawakkal apps, the requirement of 15 days to make a new booking for re-enrollment has been revoked. The ministry had yesterday launched a direct service for Umrah and prayers at the Masjid-ul-Haram. Outside of Saudi Arabia, Kirk had to obtain direct permission through the Itamarna and Tawakkalna apps.
At present, domestic Umrah pilgrims must obtain prior permission to enter the Makkah Masjid al – Haram.
Non-pilgrims in the Holy Haram will also have the opportunity to perform Tawaaf. The first floor of the Mataf Complex will be set aside for this purpose. Ordinary believers who are not Umrah pilgrims will have the opportunity to perform Tawaf during the morning and evening prayers.
As part of the Kovid precaution, Tawaf was restricted to Umrah pilgrims at Matafil near Kangabalayam.