Saudi Arabia will gradually begin receiving Umrah visa requests for vaccinated pilgrims starting August 9 after about a year and a half of not receiving overseas worshippers due to the pandemic.
With a capacity that would rise to 2 million pilgrims from 60,000 pilgrims per month, Makkah and Medinah will start welcoming visitors from abroad to their mosques while maintaining precautionary measures.
An official in the Hajj and Umrah Ministry said domestic and overseas pilgrims will have to include authorized 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.
The Kingdom also decided to allow entry to foreign travelers fully vaccinated with either Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccines, provided that they also receive a booster shot of either of the four vaccines approved by the Kingdom, according to the country's e-visa portal.
"Guests who have completed two doses of the Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccines will be accepted if they have received an additional dose of one of the four vaccines approved in the Kingdom," one of the guidelines for travelers on the portal says. The four approved vaccines are Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.