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Umrah 2021 – Latest Travel Advice

Umrah 2021 – Latest Travel Advice

Last updated: 10th August 2021

(This page will be updated regularly so please bookmark it).

After almost 18 months, Saudi Arabia gears up to receive foreign Umrah pilgrims from 9th August 2021. We look at the 2 options available for British pilgrims looking to undertake this journey from the United Kingdom.

Option 1 – Book an Umrah Package

From Monday 9th August 2021, Umrah requests will open up for countries around the world gradually.
We are currently waiting on the list of Saudi Ministry of Hajj & Umrah approved licensed agents for the UK who have had their travel agency “Activated for the Umrah Season 1443”. Until then we advise you NOT to book a Umrah package with any company. The list will be published on our website very soon. In the meantime, read what to do when booking a pilgrimage package at: http://cbhuk.org/preparing-hajj-umrah/ .

Option 2 – Saudi Tourism Visa

As of August 1, Saudi Arabia opened its doors to tourist from 49 countries from around the world including the United Kingdom. All visitors, including pilgrims, need a visa to enter Saudi Arabia. You can apply for a tourist visa online or on arrival at any of Saudi Arabia’s international airports. Muslim tourists may perform Umrah on a tourist visa, but a separate visa is needed for Hajj.

Tourist visas are valid for 360 days from the date of issue and can be used for visits of up to 90 days, and for a total of no more than 180 days in a single year. A daily fine will be levied if you overstay your visa.

https://www.visitsaudi.com/en

Important advice for visitors traveling to Saudi Arabia on a Tourism Visa.

  • All visitors arriving in the country with a valid tourism visa must provide evidence of a full course of one the four vaccines currently recognized: two doses of the Oxford/Astra Zeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines or a single dose of the vaccine produced by Johnson and Johnson.
  • Saudi Arabia has opened a web portal at https://muqeem.sa/#/vaccine-registration/home for visitors to register their vaccination status.
  • Travelers arriving in Saudi Arabia are also required to provide a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before departure and an approved paper vaccination certificate, certified by the official health authorities in the issuing country.
  • There is no quarantine requirement for vaccinated travelers to Saudi.
  • Travelers are advised to check the current entry requirements with their chosen airline before they purchase a ticket.

Read more at: https://www.visitsaudi.com/en/covid-19-information-page

How do I perform Umrah on a Tourism Visa?

The issuance of Umrah permits will be through the applications “Eatmarna” and “Tawakkalna”

On arrival in Saudi Arabia you will need to download the Tawakalna App and register your health status. We advise you to buy a local Sim card (with data) from the Airport or as soon as possible locally as this is part of your entry requirement. Failure to do so could land you in hot water including hefty fines. Apps will only register once you have landed in Saudi Arabia.

Now download the Eatmarna App and book your Umrah, Salaah Prayers in the Holy Mosques and Visit to the Rawdah. Booking is subject to availability and will only work once you in the Kingdom and your health status on the Tawakalna App shows “Green” (i.e. COVID FREE). For this reason, you may want to go to Jeddah or Madinah first without the intention of Umrah.

Links to the Official websites to download the Apps:

Important notes for Umrah pilgrims

  • An increase in capacity takes the total of pilgrims to 60,000 per day allowing the monthly capacity to reach 2 Million Pilgrims
  • The Tawakalna & Eatmarna APPS are required to book your Umrah, offer Salaah prayers in Masjid Al Haram (The Holy Mosque) Makkah, and visiting the Rawdhah.
  • Pilgrims must be vaccinated with 2 doses of the COVID vaccine .
  • Fully vaccinated children between the ages of 12-18 can apply to perform Umrah and visit the Prohets Mosque in Madinah.
  • The number of passengers on a bus will not exceed 50% of its capacity.
  • The permits to use the buses will also be via the apps that have been authorised by the authorities.
  • There are designated stations where the buses drop off passengers and there are designated gathering points.
  • There are accredited Umrah Companies, Hotels and Transport companies to facilitate pilgrims.

These measures have been put in place to create a safe environment for all pilgrims to perform Umrah.

What is the latest UK Government travel advice for those traveling to Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia is currently on the Amber List (Correct as at 9/8/21).

For the latest travel advice including entry requirements please visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/saudi-arabia

Do I have to quarantine on my return back to the UK from Saudi Arabia?

Rules on quarantine on return back to the UK depends on which country you have visited, which list the country is listed as (Red, Amber or Green) and whether or not you have had your two doses of the COVID vaccine as part of the UK vaccination programme. As at 9/8/21, Saudi Arabia was on the UK governments Amber list of countries.

Click Here to read the latest guidance and list of rules for entering England including PCR testing.

Please note: If conditions change in a country or territory, it can be moved from the amber list to the red list. If there is a sudden change in conditions, a country or territory may be moved between lists without warning.

Read More Online

If you have found this guide beneficial and you would like to share your own experiences and help improve the pilgrimage experience for others, please email us at info@cbhuk.org

Don’t forget to bookmark this page and visit back regularly for the latest travel advice.