Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has decided that travelers inbound to the Kingdom who have received a full dose of one of the approved vaccines, including Oxford-AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, are exempt from the need to quarantine.
In a statement to Asharq Al-Awsat, the Ministry revealed that “adherence to approved doses is sufficient.”
Nevertheless, people vaccinated with the Chinese-made vaccines Sinopharm and Sinovac have to spend three days in institutional quarantine and present a negative PCR certificate 48 hours after isolation.
As for whether new restrictions would be put in place to face the Omicron variant, the Ministry affirmed that measures for incoming pilgrims and visitors from both inside Saudi Arabia and abroad ensure that everyone is fully immunized with one of the approved vaccines in the Kingdom.
Moreover, pilgrims are required to register with the Eatmarna app. Travelers coming from abroad would be required to first register with one of the Qodum or Muqeem platforms.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said on Twitter that inoculation registration via the Qodum platform is a must for overseas pilgrims 72 hours before arrival to check if it is compliant with the vaccines recognized in Saudi Arabia.
As for limiting or expanding the number of pilgrims allowed, the Ministry confirmed that such a figure is decided by several relevant authorities that closely monitor coronavirus pandemic developments.
Regarding its strategy for the advent of Islam’s holy month of fasting, Ramadan, the Ministry assured that its plan would depend on intensifying efforts and special programs.
This comes as part of the Ministry’s work to provide the best services for visitors and pilgrims and ensure a healthy and organized atmosphere and the implementation of the highest standards of preventive measures.
Moreover, the Ministry reaffirmed that as soon as the Kingdom approved the list of vaccines, it had rushed to fully immunize all its workers.
In October 2020, Saudi Arabia resumed Umrah after about seven months of suspension due to the global pandemic.