While it is a dream for every Muslim to visit the Kaabah, we have to temporarily pause our travel plans as the Umrah regulations
are more stringent in light of the pandemic. However, if an opportunity opens up and you're wondering 'Is Umrah open in 2021?
', here are some things you need to know.
Is Umrah open in 2021?
According to the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah
, only residents of all nationalities and citizens in Saudi Arabia are allowed to perform Hajj and Umrah
inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It'll be limited to Saudi residents aged 18-65 years old under the immunisation categories of vaccinated or completed one dose of vaccination, or vaccinated and recovering from infection.
All international travellers are temporarily banned from entering Saudi Arabia
for hajj and umrah until further notice. Travelling for leisure and non-essential purposes are also not allowed.
: Going to umrah for the first time? Here are some useful tips and what to expect
What's the COVID-19 situation in Saudi Arabia?
According to the Centers of the Disease Control and Prevention, Saudi Arabia has very high levels of COVID-19
and recommends not to perform umrah at times when social distancing measures cannot be maintained.
What are the travel and quarantine requirements in Saudi Arabia?
If you have the opportunity to perform umrah in the near future, there are some travel and quarantine requirements you need to adhere to before entering Saudi Arabia.
- Provide a negative PCR COVID-19 test at least 72 hours before boarding your flight to Saudi Arabia
- All travellers need to fill up a form before entering Saudi Arabia
- Pilgrims need to register for an Umrah e-visa through the Eatamarna (available on iOS and Android) and Tawakkalna (available on iOS and Android) mobile apps. Congregations who wish to perform prayers or visit the mosque must register through the applications as well.
- Only fully vaccinated pilgrims are allowed to visit Masjidil Haram and Al-Masjid an-Nabawi. You need to be innoculated with vaccines approved by the Saudi Ministry of Health, which is Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.
- No quarantine for vaccinated travellers, but proof of vaccination is required
- Quarantine is required for unvaccinated travellers for a period of 7 days in a hotel or shelter approved by the Saudi Ministry of Tourism. The cost of quarantine will be included in the ticket price.
It may be awhile before we can perform Umrah like we used to. But if you're planning to perform the annual pilgrimage during or after COVID-19, we hope you find these travel regulations and quarantine requirements useful for your future trips!