Saudi Arabia lifts requirement of PCR test for Umrah pilgrims
Saudi Arabia has lifted the requirement of PCR test for Umrah pilgrims.
According to the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, pilgrims from abroad who wish to perform Umrah are no longer required to produce a negative PCR test result or rapid antigen test result for entering the kingdom.
Foreign pilgrims, however, would still need to acquire Covid-19 medical insurance to cover the cost of treatment if they contract to enter Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah.
The ministry said that the Umrah visas are valid for 90 days only. During their stay in the kingdom, the pilgrims are allowed to move and travel not only between Makkah and Madinah but also to other cities.
The covid-19 restrictions are being lifted gradually as the kingdom see decline in coronavirus infections.
On Tuesday, Saudi authorities removed the barriers placed around Kaaba due to coronavirus pandemic.
People were seen crying Wednesday holding Kaswa – cover of Kaaba – and trying to kiss Hajr-e-Aswad, the black stone which recognized as to have come from heaven.
The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques had placed barriers around the Holy Kaaba on July 1, 2020, on the instructions of the National Center for the Prevention of Coronavirus to stem the spread of the pandemic.
It had also denied permission to individuals to perform Hajj and Umrah. Later when, access was reestablished, pilgrims and visitors were barred from touching or kissing the Kaaba or the Hajar-e-Aswad.
A royal decree has done away with the coronavirus protection barriers installed in Kaaba.