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Saudi Arabia opens Umrah for vaccinated foreign pilgrims

(Reuters) – Saudi Arabia will gradually begin receiving Umrah pilgrimage requests from abroad for vaccinated pilgrims starting Aug. 9 after about a year and a half of not receiving overseas worshippers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state news agency (SPA) reported early on Sunday.

With a capacity that would rise to 2 million pilgrims from 60,000 pilgrims per month, Makkah and Medina will start welcoming visitors from abroad to their mosques while maintaining COVID-19 precautionary measures.

An official in the Hajj and Umrah Ministry said domestic and overseas pilgrims will have to include authorized COVID-19 vaccination certificates along with their Umrah request.

Vaccinated pilgrims from countries that Saudi Arabia includes on its entry-ban list will have to be institutionally quarantined upon arrival, the report added.

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