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What are the Protocols for the Two Holy Mosques this Ramadan?

The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques has announced its operational plans for Masjid Al Haram and Masjid Al Nabawi for Ramadan 1443.

After lifting of most precautionary measures in the Kingdom after the cases of COVID-19 winded down, the General Presidency has also removed most restrictions for visitors and pilgrims arriving from within the Kingdom and from outside.

This includes:

  1. Vaccine Mandate removed: Pilgrims and Visitors can arrive in the Kingdom without registering their Vaccination proof document meaning unvaccinated pilgrims can now also arrive
  2. Social and Physical Distancing Requirements removed: The General Presidency also removed the requirement to physically and socially distance in the Grand Mosques
  3. Capacity restrictions removed: The General Presidency and Ministry of Hajj and Umrah have agreed to remove capacity restrictions in the Grand Mosques and have returned to pre-pandemic numbers.
  4. Removal of Requirement to obtain permits for Prayers and Ziyarah.
  5. Removal of waiting time to obtain Umrah permits: This means that an Umrah permit can be obtained immediately after the expiration of the current one.
  6. The number of Umrah permits for Ramadan will remain uncapped: This means that Umrah permits will always be available for reservation.
  7. Mass Iftar Sufras will return
  8. The Two Holy Mosques will remain open around the clock during Ramadan
  9. I’tikaf will resume from 20 Ramadan till the eve of Eid Al Fitr

Some restrictions still remain which include:

  1. Requirement to obtain Umrah Permits and Rawdah Al Shareefah permits via the Eatmarna or Tawakalana Applications
  2. Masks to be worn by everyone in closed spaces
  3. The Mataaf will be limited to Umrah Pilgrims only.
  4. Nafl Tawaaf can be performed on First Floor of the Mosque
  5. A total of 517,000 Rawdah Permits will be issued during Ramadan which will be need to be reserved through the Eatmarna or Tawakalana Applications

Some Protocols are yet to be announced such as the system of Taraweeh in the Two Holy Mosques which had been modified for the last 2 years.