First, you should understand the difference between Hajj and Umrah, so you do not mix them both. Both are the Islamic religious pilgrimage to Makkah (also written as Mecca), Saudi Arabia. Hajj has specific dates to perform, while Umrah can be performed anytime in a year other than Hajj days. Hajj can be attended by more than one to three million people. And it starts on the 8th day of Dhul Hijjah (the twelfth and the last month of the Islamic calendar), and it ends on the 13th day of Dhul Hajj. Umrah can be performed anytime and will take a few hours. You can also contact umrah travel agents Manchester, If you want to perform.
Muslims all across the world come to Saudi Arabia all over the year to perform Umrah and Hajj on Hajj day, and we must know what rules and regulations are imposed by the Saudi government, especially now when there are COVID-19 cases still alive somewhere in the world that can spread if the social distance is not maintained.
Under the crisis of COVID, KSA reported the first case of COVID positive, a man who had recently visited Iran and Bahrain. This case was reported on march 2nd, and the first death was recorded on march 24th. Every year, the Ministry of the health of KSA issues the guidelines for the Umrah and Hajj. But certainly, under the COVID situation, they had added a few more things. Hajj and Umrah can tire your body, but no doubt your soul will be refreshed.
The Ministry of health has issued some guidelines as below:
1. Age Limit:
No one who is aged above 65 will come to perform this pilgrimage because these are elders and have less immunity and energy. They can get affected by COVID faster than a healthy and young person, and this will be painful for them. Similarly, newborns are also asked to stay at home unless situations get better
Anyone who is suffering from various diseases like kidney, liver, lungs or heart disease should stay home and wait for recovery before performing pilgrimage. Other than that, cancer or terminal illness affected people as also under this term.
3. Mental Health:
Anyone who has a confusion issue or memory issue should not visit alone.
Ministry of Hajj and Umrah:
At first, there was a restriction on the outsiders, and only locals who were already in KSA could perform Umrah and Hajj. Latter on, with the improved situations, vaccinations, and more precautions from the KSA government, they lifted these restrictions and allowed one million Muslims across the world to enter KSA for this Holly pilgrimage. Only two restrictions were left to follow one was that no one should be more than 65 years old, and all of them must have the vaccination done. But still, some of the vaccinations were done at the airport and people were sent to quarantine before entering Mecca.
The second one was they all must have COVID negative test reports within the last 72 hours. If you qualify for both these conditions, then welcome. There is no restriction on you to do Umrah. After 3 months to this, in June 2022, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah opened the online portals for Europe, America and Australia to receive applications for pilgrimage. Now everyone can perform Umrah without any worry; all they need is the COVID negative test report.
Other than these, the KSA did cover to all Holly places where people touch like The Kabbah, the Place of footprints of Prophet Ibrahim and Black stone. There was a barrier wall around each of them. Now all of these barriers have been removed, and everyone can touch and kiss these holy places. But on the safer side, you should always keep visiting the official releases from the KSA government and keep getting an update from your travel agents before going.
Although the situations are now under control and out of danger, but that does not mean we need nothing to worry about and we do not need any precautions. You should still wear a mask that will safeguard you not only from COVID but also from pollution and many other diseases. Practice wearing gloves because we touch tens of things in a day outside, and not everything is hygiene and cleanliness. Always have a sanitiser with you. Other than these, ensure you have a booster vaccination dose. This improved the antibodies in your body. This can be done after 3 months of your 2nd dose of vaccination. These dosages are clinically approved and and safe and have no side effects if used under safe limits.
So, you should follow are the KSA rules and COVID safety measures to make sure this blessed journey keeps safe for you and Muslim fellows who come from across the world.