Only Hajj pilgrims to be allowed to perform Umrah

RIYADH: In a move to facilitate Hajj pilgrims, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced that no one with the exception of Hajj pilgrims will be allowed to perform Umrah for the next 25 days. 

According to a statement released by the ministry on Twitter, the pilgrimage of Umrah will be restricted and only Hajj pilgrims will be allowed to perform Umrah for the next 25 days.

The ministry wrote in the tweet, “Starting today, only Hajj pilgrims will be permitted to perform Umrah. Regular Umrah reservations via Eatmarna app will reopen beginning Tuesday, July 19th, 2022 (20th of Dhul Hijjah 1443H)”

Recently, the Saudi government lifted the cover of the Kaabah, known as Kasawa. After lifting the Kasawa, a white cloth has been wrapped around the Kaaba as a symbol of Ihraam. The start of the Hajj season has been announced symbolically by covering the Kaabah with a white cloth.

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The Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca that can be undertaken at any time of the year unlike the Hajj, which has specific dates according to the Islamic lunar calendar.

It should be noted that the Ministry of Hajj has increased the number of pilgrims to 1 million pilgrims this year. Whereas only a few thousand pilgrims living in Saudi Arabia were allowed to perform Hajj during the last two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Announcing the increase in the number of pilgrims, a statement issued by the ministry said that only those pilgrims who have gotten fully vaccinated will be allowed to come to Mecca. In addition, they should be below 65 years of age.

A statement issued by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah stated that while it is important to ensure that Muslims around the world perform Hajj in a safe and spiritual environment and visit all the holy sites, it is also of utmost importance for us to ensure the health and security of all the pilgrims.