Can foreign pilgrims outside the GCC perform Umrah this year?

Vaccinated foreigners seeking to perform the umrah pilgrimage will be accepted in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia began “gradually receiving umrah petitions from various nations” on August 9th, nearly 18 months after closing its borders to combat coronavirus, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Unlike the annual hajj, which able-bodied Muslims with the means must complete at least once in their lives, the umrah can be performed at any time and attracts millions of people from all over the world.

The SPA quoted deputy hajj minister Abdulfattah bin Sulaiman Mashat has said that foreign pilgrims must be immunized with a Saudi-approved vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson) and agree to be quarantined if necessary.

He went on to say that the kingdom was working on identifying the countries from which pilgrims might travel, as well as the number of pilgrims who could come, on a “monthly basis” based on the classification of preventive measures in those countries.