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Saudi Arabia imposes fine for performing Umrah without permit

Saudi Arabia has raised the capacity of Umrah pilgrims to 70,000 in a day. Source: Al-Arabiya

MAKKAH: Saudi Arabia has announced to impose a fine of 10,000 Riyals ($2,666) for those who attempt to perform Umrah without a permit, according to a Twitter post by the Kingdom’s national security team.

The announcement also stated that a fine of $266 (1,000 Riyals) will be imposed on those who attempt to enter the premises in the holy city of Makkah without a permit.

The national security body stated that the new fines were part of the Kingdom’s precautionary and preventative measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus and to ensure that precautionary rules are followed during Umrah.

Individuals who wish to go for Umrah in Islam’s holiest city must obtain a permit to enter the Grand Mosque Masjid-ul-Haram. This can be done through Saudi Arabia’s COVID-19 tracking apps Tawakkalna and Eatmarna.

Last week, the country’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced that it will raise the capacity of Umrah pilgrims to 70,000 a day as of September 9.

“With an emphasis on implementing precautionary measures, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, in coordination with the competent authorities, raises daily capacity to 70,000 pilgrims,” the ministry announced in a tweet.

Permits will be issued through the Eatmarna and Tawakkalna mobile applications, amid an integrated system of services and preventive measures, taken by the Kingdom for the safety and health of those wishing to perform the rituals of Umrah and Ziyarah.

Last month, the ministry announced that it will start gradually receiving Umrah requests from various countries as of August 9, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The ministry will also gradually increase the capacity to reach 2 million pilgrims per month. It also confirmed that it will grant domestic Umrah permits to pilgrims between 12 and 18 years of age who have received two COVID-19 vaccine doses, according to a statement.