Riyadh: The Saudi government has decided to impose a fine of 10,000 Riyals on those who would try to perform Umrah without permission during Ramadan and 1,000 Riyals fine for anyone who tries to enter the Grand Mosque in Makkah without a permit.
According to the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, the government will allow only those who have been vaccinated with the COVID vaccine to perform Umrah during Ramadan, so those who need to perform Umrah are required to take vaccination to get the permit.
The Saudi Interior Ministry has said that not only Umrah but entry into the Haram Sharif has been banned during Ramadan.
Permission will also be required to perform prayers in Masjid al-Haram and Masjid al-Nabawi. Those who pray in Masjid al-Haram and Masjid al-Nabawi must also be vaccinated.
According to the Interior Ministry, restrictions were imposed to reduce the spread of the coronavirus due to the high rush during Ramadan and strict security measures have been put in place to enforce them, and any violators will be held accountable. There will be no leniency.
The Interior Ministry has also appealed to Saudis and foreigners that those who wish to perform Umrah or go to the Grand Mosque for prayers must obtain a permit, while security personnel at all highways, checkpoints and will check the permits on the way to Haram Sharif and prevent those violating the prescribed system from going to Haram Sharif.
According to an international news outlet, an official source at the Ministry of Interior said a fine of SR10,000 ($2,666) would be imposed on anyone who tries to perform Umrah without a permit, along with an SR1,000 fine for anyone who tries to enter the Grand Mosque in Makkah without a permit.
Saudi authorities are looking beyond Ramadan as the measure will be valid until the end of the pandemic or when “life returns to normal,” the source added.
The source to the news outlet that the ministry wants to ensure that all precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus are adhered to. It also wants to ensure that approved regulations for performing Umrah and prayer are in line with the operational safety capacity at all Grand Mosque sites and squares.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said that the Umrah and Tawakkalna applications have been launched in their updated versions, through cooperation with the Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence.