Riyadh: The ongoing Umrah season for Muslims outside Saudi Arabia ends on May 31, Arab News reported, citing the Kingdom's Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.
In a statement, the ministry has fixed Shawwal 30, as per the Islamic calendar, or May 31 of the Gregorian calendar as the last day for Muslims outside the Kingdom to perform Umrah. The ministry also said that the last date for foreign Muslims to apply for an Umrah visa this season would be Shawwal 15.
The ministry noted that foreigners could apply for Umrah visas through administration approved online platforms. It added that the schedule to register and submit the current year's Hajj applications would be announced at the appropriate time and channels.
After the closure induced by the Covid-19 pandemic, Saudi Arabia is preparing to welcome Hajj pilgrims to the full capacity after two years. Last year, the holy event was restricted to 60,000 worshippers, and only domestic pilgrims were allowed. But, in 2020, while the pandemic raged, only a thousand pilgrims were granted entry.
The Hajj & Umrah ministry had announced in April that the Kingdom is planning to admit one million pilgrims this year. But, it added that the number of pilgrims who would be allowed to visit the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah will depend on the government's recommendations regarding the pandemic situation, which has not abated yet.
The ministry said that pilgrims must follow precautionary-preventive measures while performing Hajj. It added that pilgrims aged under 65 must be fully vaccinated with Kingdom-approved vaccines.