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Rabat – Saudi Arabia announced on April 5 that only people immunized against COVID-19 will be allowed to perform Umrah.
Umrah during Ramadan is a priority for many Muslims. It has been practiced regularly since the time of the Prophet Muhammad. The prophet said that performing Umrah during Ramadan leads to the same reward as Hajj.
Umrah differs from Hajj as it does not have to be carried out at a specific time of year.
Immunized people can apply for a permit to undertake Umrah, and to perform prayers in Masjid al-Haram, the Great Mosque of Mecca.
According to a statement published by Saudi Press Agency (SPA), three categories of individuals could be considered as immunized: those who have received two doses of the vaccine, those having received a single dose at least 14 days before performing Umrah, and individuals who have recovered from the virus.
The authorities also decided that they will increase the operational capacity of Masjid al-Haram while respecting all precautionary measures.
Those who wish to pray in Masjid al-Haram or perform Umrah must register via the Tawakkalna app and the Umrah app Eatmarna.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah launched the Eatmarna app to enable those wishing to perform Umrah to request a permit.
The ministry said that the Tawakkalna and Eatmarna apps will be the only official platforms available to issue permits and warned the public against any other websites and applications.
Since the start of the pandemic, Saudi Arabia has reported 393,377 COVID-19 cases, including 380,305 recoveries, and 6,704 deaths.
The country has administered more than 5,000,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a statement published by the kingdom’s health ministry on Monday.
Saudi Arabia began its vaccination campaign on December 17, using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Meanwhile, Morocco’s government intends to achieve herd immunity by vaccinating a total of 80% of the population in the next three to five months. The country launched its vaccination campaign on January 28, and has since vaccinated 4,352,033 people, while 3,951,023 received their second dose of the vaccine.