Only people “immunized” against the Chinese coronavirus will be allowed to perform the Islamic Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca starting next week, the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported on Monday.
Only pilgrims who have received two doses of a coronavirus vaccine, received the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine at least 14 days prior to arrival in Mecca, or contracted and recovered from the Chinese coronavirus, are allowed to perform Umrah. The mandate will go into effect on the first day of Ramadan, which is a month-long Islamic fasting holiday starting on April 12 this year.
The immunization requirement also applies to people seeking to pray in Mecca’s Grand Mosque or the nearby Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, Islam’s second holiest city, according to a press release by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah on April 5.
The Umrah is an optional pilgrimage to Mecca, Islam’s holiest city, that