International

Saudi Arabia to fine people who attempt to perform Umrah without permit

Muslims, keeping a safe social distance, perform Umrah at the Grand Mosque after Saudi authorities ease the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions, in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Reuters)
Muslims, keeping a safe social distance, perform Umrah at the Grand Mosque after Saudi authorities ease the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions, in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Reuters)
Al Arabiya English

13 September, 2021

Saudi Arabia has announced that those who attempt to perform Umrah without a permit will be subject to a fine of $2,666 (10,000 Riyals), according to a Twitter post by the Kingdom’s national security team.

The announcement also stated that a fine of $266 (1,000 Riyals) will be imposed on those who attempt to enter the premises in the holy city of Mecca without a permit.

The national security body stated that the new fines were part of the Kingdom’s precautionary and preventative measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus and to ensure that precautionary rules are followed during Umrah.

Permit required for entry to Grand Mosque

Individuals who wish to go for Umrah in Islam’s holiest city must obtain a permit to enter the Grand Mosque. This can be done through Saudi Arabia’s COVID-19 tracking apps Tawakkalna and Eatmarna.

Umrah capacity raised to 70,000

On Wednesday, the country’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced that it will raise the capacity of Umrah pilgrims to 70,000 a day as of September 9.

“With an emphasis on implementing precautionary measures, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, in coordination with the competent authorities, raises daily capacity to 70,000 pilgrims,” the ministry announced in a tweet on Wednesday.

Last month, the ministry announced that it will start gradually receiving Umrah requests from various countries as of August 9, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The ministry will also gradually increase the capacity to reach 2 million pilgrims per month. It also confirmed that it will grant domestic Umrah permits to pilgrims between 12 and 18 years of age who have received two COVID-19 vaccine doses, according to a statement.

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