Hajj and Umrah Minister Dr. Muhammad Saleh Bandhan said that with the resumption of Umrah, it would be up to the Ministry of Health to decide which countries should be allowed to send their pilgrims. The minister’s announcement follows an earlier statement by the ministry that the Umrah service, which has been suspended in the wake of the Kovid incident, would be reopened to foreigners from November 1. The minister said in an interview to a private channel that a special centralized electronic system would be set up for the arrival and departure of foreign pilgrims for next year’s Hajj.
The domestic pilgrimage will partially resume on October 4. Saudi citizens, expatriates, and their families can download and register themselves on the Umrah mobile application called Itamarna, which has been useful since yesterday. Umrah ceremonies, prayers inside the Haram mosque, farewell procession, visit Rawda in Madinah mosque, visit to Masjid al – Quba, Uhd, and Jabalunnur can now be booked through the app. Those who reach Umrah in this way cannot touch the Ka’bah or kiss Hazrul Azwad. Permission for Tawaf will be outside special barricades.
Authorities said they would disinfect the Haram mosque as it enters and exits. The app is available on iOS and Android phones. The ministry said the new app was designed to help pilgrims and visitors plan their trip in advance as well as ensure health, precautionary measures, and preventive protocols and make the task easier. The application was developed by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah in collaboration with the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDIA).