This is a translation of an article written by Tiara. You can also read this article in Bahasa Indonesia.
While it is a dream for every Muslim to visit the Kaabah, we have to temporarily pause our travel plans as the Hajj and Umrah regulations are more stringent in light of the pandemic. Seeing the Kaabah circled by Muslim worshippers is one of the sights we miss most. According to this source
, 2.5 million Muslims visited the Kaabah in 2019 but last year, there were only 1,000 Muslims with a strong majority being the residents of Saudi Arabia.
As the world continues the battle against COVID-19 pandemic, the Saudi Arabia government has expressed plans to allow 50,000 people to perform their Umrah pilgrimage during the month of Ramadan. If you're planning to perform Hajj and Umrah in the future, these are the latest Hajj and Umrah requirements provided by the Saudi Arabian authorities.
1. Two holy mosques are now open to worshippers
According to the Haj Consul of the Indonesian Consulate General in Jeddah, Endang Jumali, Saudi Arabia has officially opened Masjidil Haram (the Great Mosque of Mecca) and Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (the Prophet's Mosque) for Umrah pilgrims since mid-April 2021. However, the Umrah permit will only be granted to the citizens and expatriates of Saudi Arabia.
2. Register via mobile app
The next umrah requirement requires pilgrims to register for an Umrah e-visa through the Eatamarna
(available on iOS
) and Tawakkalna
(available on iOS
) mobile apps. Both applications are available for Umrah organisers based in countries where congregations are allowed by the Saudi Arabia government. Congregations who wish to perform prayers or visit the mosque must register through the applications as well.
3. COVID-19 vaccination is mandatory
Only fully vaccinated pilgrims are allowed to visit Masjidil Haram and Al-Masjid an-Nabawi. According to this source
, the requirements state that pilgrims must received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, spent 14 days after the first dose or had recovered from any infections.
4. Saudi Arabia only approves COVID-19 vaccines that are certified by WHO
The Saudi Arabia government only allow congregations where pilgrims have been administered with COVID-19 vaccines approved and certified by the World Health Organisation (WHO). These COVID-19 vaccines include Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna, and all of these vaccines are currently being used in Saudi Arabia.
If you're arriving from Indonesia, the Indonesian government, through the Minister of Health and Indonesian Food and Drug Authority (Badan POM), is currently working to get the Sinovac vaccine certified by WHO.
5. Pilgrims must be above 18 years old
Based on a statement provided by Endang Jumali on Indonesia's Ministry of Religious Affairs' website, umrah pilgrims must be between 18 and 60 years old. However, this age restriction is only applied to citizens outside of Saudi Arabia.
It may be awhile before we can perform Hajj and Umrah like we used to. But if you're planning to perform the annual pilgrimage during COVID-19, we hope you would find these travel regulations and vaccine requirements useful for your future trips!