Umrah is the act of undertaking a pilgrimage to Makkah at any time of the year. It is usually done at a different time of the year than the annual Hajj pilgrimage. Pictured: The Masjid Al Haram (Grand Mosque) in Makkah. Image Credit: Asghar Khan/Gulf News

Dubai: Umrah service will soon resume with only a limited number of domestic pilgrims from within the Kingdom, local media has reported

The move is part of the Ministry of Interior’s plans to ease restrictions on travel. On Sunday, the ministry announced the partial lifting of travel restrictions from September 15, and the complete lifting from January 1, 2021.

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The ministry said that Gulf citizens and non-Saudis with valid residency permits or visas will be allowed to enter the kingdom from Tuesday, September 15, as long as they are not infected with the virus.

It also announced that a plan to lift the suspension of Umrah service will be announced gradually in light of the developments related to the pandemic.

According to the sources, domestic pilgrims will be allowed to perform the pilgrimage, provided they fulfil certain terms and conditions. It will be mandatory for the pilgrims to carry with them a medical certificate to show that they are tested negative for the coronavirus.

The opening of the door for Umrah will be made in line with the coronavirus precautionary measures and preventive protocols. The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah will announce soon the terms and conditions in this regard, the source pointed out.

The source confirmed that there will be a mobile application that specifies the date and time of performance of the pilgrimage by each pilgrim and that a permit to perform Umrah will be issued by the concerned authorities to those fulfilling the terms and conditions.

Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah for Hajj Affairs Dr Hussein Al Sharif confirmed earlier that the ministry will work to evaluate the experience of the exceptional success of the recent Haj season. He said that the ministry will take advantage of this successful experience in implementing high-quality health and regulatory measures for the coming Umrah season.

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