Peshawar: Federal Minister for Religious Affairs, Noor ul Haq Qadri has announced that restrictions on Pakistani Umrah pilgrims will be removed in the next two to three weeks.
Addressing at the opening of a new facility for Hajj pilgrims at Haji Camp phase 7 in Peshawar, the minister said that Covid-related limitations were relaxing globally, and limits for Umrah pilgrims would be eased shortly.
He stated that the new pilgrim building would help to accommodate them under one roof. “Besides teaching courses and classes for Hajj pilgrims, the facility will also offer verification of required documents and Covid vaccination under one roof,” he added.
Noor ul Haq Qadri further denied that any increased contributions in terms of Hajj and Umrah were being received from pilgrims, “An additional expense is due to an increase in flight fares,” he asserted.
Speaking to a private news channel, earlier on August 9, the federal religious affairs minister said that Pakistani pilgrims from nine countries had been denied admission into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) as it opened Umrah applications.
Saudi Arabia has conditionally permitted travelers who have received two doses of the Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccinations to enter the country if they obtain an extra dosage of one of the four approved vaccines.
The Saudi Arabian e-visa portal released the travelling rules after resuming the admission of vaccinated overseas tourists from the 1st of August.
Visitors who have received two doses of Chinese vaccinations such as Sinopharm and Sinovac are recommended by Saudi officials to get a booster shot of one of the four permitted vaccines such as Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna, Oxford/Astra Zeneca, or Johnson & Johnson.
It is likely that restrictions on Pakistani Umrah pilgrims will be uplifted soon as the Covid-19 restrictions are being eased up step by step on the global level.