According to a local publication, Saudi authorities have removed the age limit for overseas Muslims completing Umrah or lesser pilgrimages.
Previously, the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah limited visas for expatriate Muslims undertaking Umrah to individuals aged 18 to 50 years.
According to the Okaz daily, the ministry has removed the age restriction, allowing pilgrims over the age of 50 to get Umrah visas.
Under the new law, overseas Muslims under the age of 18 are still not permitted to undertake Umrah. Meanwhile, anyone aged 12 and up who live in Saudi Arabia can get licenses to perform Umrah if they have been properly vaccinated against COVID-19.
In an effort to make procedures easier for overseas Umrah pilgrims, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah recently launched a service that allows them to obtain permits for performing rituals in the Grand Mosque in Mecca and praying in the Prophet Mohammed’s tomb in Medina via the health apps Eatmarna and Tawakkalna after registering on the platform Qudum.
Before traveling, foreign pilgrims must be completely immunized against COVID-19 with vaccinations recognized in Saudi Arabia and present an officially signed vaccination certificate in order to receive an electronic entry visa through a Saudi Foreign Ministry portal.
Saudi Arabia removed restrictions against COVID-19 this month, citing a stabilization of the country’s epidemiological situation and a significant decrease in infections.
Distancing for worshippers in the two holy mosques of Mecca and Medina has been eliminated, and full capacity has been restored.
At both mosques, though, worshippers must continue to wear face masks.