Pakistani Umrah Pilgrims Won’t be Quarantined After Taking Saudi-Approved Vaccines

The Saudi government has announced that foreign pilgrims who take two doses of Saudi-approved COVID vaccines will not be required to serve institutional quarantine upon arrival.

Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said on Wednesday that pilgrims fully vaccinated with any of Saudi-approved vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer, BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson, and Oxford/AstraZeneca) can directly travel to Makkah for Umrah without spending three to five days in isolation in a hotel room.

Further, their stay in the kingdom has also been extended from 10 days to 30, which was the limit before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The minimum age limit for foreign pilgrims will remain in place, with only pilgrims above 18 issued Umrah permits. However, the ministry has revoked the maximum age limit of 50 years for pilgrims coming from outside Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah.

Domestic pilgrims above 12 years of age can perform Umrah if they are fully vaccinated.

“The requirement for Umrah pilgrims from countries that are not included in the travel ban is only inoculation with two doses of coronavirus vaccines approved by the Kingdom,” the ministry said.

However, those inoculated with World Health Organization (WHO) approved vaccines would be required to serve a three-day quarantine. They would be allowed to perform Umrah if they present a negative PCR test conducted after 48 hours of institutional quarantine.

The ministry added that the social distancing measures for the two holy mosques have been lifted. However, the mask mandate is still in place. Pilgrims are still required to wear masks and make reservations to perform Umrah and prayers in order to verify their immunity status at the entrances of the holy mosques.

Via: Saudi Gazette