Pakistanis have to get booster shots of one of the four approved vaccines, i.e. Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson in order to perform Umrah. Saudi Arabia is to begin accepting vaccinated foreign visitors for Umrah, reports Saudi Press Agency (SPA). The Saudi authorities will begin taking travel requests starting today and will increase the number of Umrah performers to two million per month. The Kingdom closed its borders some 18 months ago because of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the official guidelines for travellers to the KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), “Guests who have completed two doses of the Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccines will be accepted if they have received an additional dose of one of the four vaccines approved in the Kingdom.”

“All visitors arriving in the country with a valid tourism visa must provide evidence of a full course of one the four vaccines currently recognised: two doses of the Oxford/Astra Zeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines or a single dose of the vaccine produced by Johnson and Johnson,” reads the guidelines.

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The Kingdom announced on Sunday about reopening their borders for Umrah, a move that will boost an economy hit by the Covid pandemic. Domestic and overseas pilgrims will have to include authorised Covid-19 vaccination certificates along with their Umrah application. “A certificate of immunisation certified by the official authorities in the country of the Umrah performer must be attached within the documents of requesting the performance of Umrah rituals, with the condition that the vaccines be approved in the Kingdom.” Moreover, foreign visitors from Saudi entry-ban list will have to undergo quarantine.

Saudi Arabia has recorded nearly 532,000 coronavirus cases and more than 8,300 deaths.