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Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia Reveals New Quarantine Rules for Foreign Umrah Pilgrims

Saudi Arabia has revealed new quarantine rules for foreign pilgrims in light of the coronavirus pandemic, with an official at the Kingdom’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah holding a workshop to announce the measures.

According to the deputy minister for Hajj and Umrah Services, Dr Amr Almaddah, foreign pilgrims would now be required to go into a three-day quarantine upon arrival into Saudi Arabia.

What comes after quarantine?

Umrah companies are responsible for educating the pilgrims, he added, noting that once their quarantine period ends, they would transport the worshippers to the nearest Miqat to put on their Ihrams and resume the rituals.

Dr Almaddah underscored that the Hajj and Umrah ministry has “allocated 10% of the hotels [operations] to isolate pilgrims suspected of being infected with the coronavirus, God forbid”.

Umrah companies must apprise the foreign pilgrims of the precautionary measures that must be applied throughout the Umrah journey, he added.

The ministry, he said, has also set up legislation and various controls to protect the health of everyone — both residing in the Kingdom and those coming in to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah — and created a conducive environment for partners in the Umrah sector.

Separately, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said on Twitter the number of people registered on the Eatmarna app stood at 1,433,176, as of Rabiul Awwal 10, 1442 AH.

The Hajj and Umrah ministry has made it obligatory for hotels to ensure the room rent includes three meals a day for each pilgrim during the quarantine period. Moreover, open buffets at all hotels have been banned during this period.

While in quarantine, it must be made sure that no more than two individuals stay in one room and all family members must ensure social distancing of 1.5 metres (approximately 5ft). 

Supervisors and guards would be stationed at each hotel to ensure no pilgrim leaves unnecessarily and to facilitate their exit.

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