Saudi Arabia to allow only immunised pilgrims to perform umrah

RIYADH : Saudi authorities said on Monday that only people immunised against Covid-19 will be allowed to perform the year-round umrah pilgrimage from the start of Ramadan, the holy fasting month for Muslims.

The Hajj and Umrah Ministry said three categories of people would be considered "immunised" - those who have received two doses of the vaccine, those administered a single dose at least 14 days prior, and people who have recovered from the infection.

Only those people will be eligible for permits to perform umrah, as well as to attend prayers in the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca.

The condition also applies for entry into the Prophet's Mosque in the holy city of Medina.

The ministry said the policy starts with Ramadan, which is due to begin later this month, but it was unclear how long it would last. It was also not clear whether the policy would be extended to the haj later this year.

Saudi Arabia has more than 393,000 infections and 6,700 deaths. - AFP