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Saudi Arabia allows vaccinated foreign pilgrims to arrive by road

By Ghada Al Turk - Nov 03,2021 - Last updated at Nov 03,2021

Saudis and foreign residents circumambulate (Tawaf) the Kaaba in the Grand Mosque complex in the holy city of Mecca, on October 4, 2020 (AFP photo)

AMMAN — A statement from the Ministry of Awqaf said that the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and umrah allows foreign worshippers, especially from neighbouring countries including Jordan, to travel by road to perform the pilgrimage.

The Hajj is the greater Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, which takes place annually, and umrah is the lesser Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, which can be performed any time of the year.

In a statement to The Jordan Times, the ministry said that it has been in contact with Saudi authorities to determine the details and the conditions required this season.

Saudi Arabia stopped receiving foreign pilgrims following the outbreak of the pandemic. 

Those wishing to undertake umrah must comply with the recommended health protocol and present a COVID-19 vaccination certificate, according to the statement.

Ali Abd Alnaby, who works at a tourist agency, which also operates umrah road trips, said that since the recent announcement, they have been receiving many inquiries regarding the pilgrimage.

Abd Alnaby added that the instructions approved by the Saudi authorities are “reasonable”.

He said that worshippers wishing to undertake umrah are required to receive two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech or Oxford Astra Zeneca COVID vaccines, while regarding the Sinopharm vaccine, pilgrims are required to have received three doses.

Concerning the cost of the trip, price has increased slightly, ranging between JD250 and JD300, he said.

The tour operator noted that according to the new regulations, no more than two people are allowed to share a hotel room.

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