While considering the increasing COVID-19 case in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ministry of Interior (MOI) reminds the residents (Expats and local citizens) and pilgrims that in case of disobedience of COVID-19 preventive measures, they will have to pay huge fines. They will be accountable for any health problem to a specific group of people. While reminding about the preventive measures, the Ministry of Health also introduced anti-COVID 19 SOPs During Ramadan for KSA residents and pilgrims.
On 28-03-2021, Saudi Arabia banned pilgrims’ entry, tourists, and worshipers from more than twenty countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Germany, the United States, Britain, South Africa, France, Egypt, Lebanon, India, and Pakistan.
The first time KSA banned foreign UMRAH on 27-02-2020, only a limited group of people was allowed to enter KSA and perform UMRAH from November 2020.
Covid 19 SOPs During Ramadan 2021
Here are the Covid 19 SOPs During Ramadan that you need to follow.
SOPs for All Mosques and Holy Places:
- The vaccine is compulsory only for the worshippers who want to perform Umrah. However, for others, getting the vaccine before Ramadan will save them from getting COVID 19
- At least 6 feet distance from one worshipper to another in holy mosques and holy places.
- Wearing masks is mandatory for everyone. There will be no relaxation if someone is not wearing a mask.
- Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al- Sudais (Head of the Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques) reminds that “I’tikaaf will continue in the mosques. But I’tikaaf in the last ten days of Ramadan is not possible this year as well.”
- Worshipers to perform only (10 + 3) Rakats of Taraweeh and Tahajjud. The usual number of Rakats is (20 + 3).
SOPs for Two Holy Mosques:
- Iftar in the two Holy mosques in Mecca and Madinah (Masjid al-Haram and Masjid an-Nabawi) will be banned. However, worshippers and pilgrims will get ready-made iftar meal boxes.
- The prayer will be limited to only Abdullah expansion, first floor, courtyard, and roof in Masjid Al Haram. Worshippers will not be allowed to enter any other place than the above mentioned.
- The Mataaf area will remain closed for all the worshippers except those performing UMRAH (Local + Tourists).
- Touching the Kaaba is not possible.
- Due to the rapid increase of COVID 19, Zam Zam water’s public supply will be suspended throughout Ramadan. However, ushers will provide 200,000 Zam Zam water bottles daily.
- To enter the Grand Mosque, the worshippers must first get a valid e-permit through the Eatmarna application. Umrah Permits will also be given Using Tawakkalna App in the near future.
SOPs for Malls and Resturants and Public Places:
- The crowds will not be allowed in public parks, sports grounds, and other public places. However, a limited number of people can enter public areas.
- Field inspectors will monitor malls, shopping centers, apparel markets, grocery stores, meat shops, goat markets, slaughterhouses, and wheelbarrows 24 hours a day.
- Shops in Saudi Arabia’s heart (Mecca and Madinah) will be open 24 hours a day during the whole Ramadan. However, everyone will have to abide by the strict COVID 19 SOP’s.
- Iftar and Sehri buffet service in the local restaurants for worshippers, residents, and pilgrims will remain closed.
The message of Sheikh Abdul Rehman Al Sudais for Covid 19 SOPs during Ramadan
While talking in an interview, Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al- Sudais said
“The number of worshippers would be adjusted according to prevent overcrowding in the Masjid al-Haram and Masjid an-Nabawi. A total of 10,000 workers will help the ministry to handle the massive number of worshippers. Since 04-10-2020, almost 13 million people have performed Umrah, and Alhumdullilah Ministry successfully handled this crowd while following the strict COVID 19 preventive measures.”Sheikh Abdul Rehman Al Sudais
He also said that
“The Hajj and Umrah ministry made it mandatory for Hajj pilgrimage to be vaccinated before visiting Saudi Arabia. If a person is not immune from virus, then he/she cannot perform Hajj in 2021.”Sheikh Abdul Rehman Al Sudais