Great joy and excitement for Umrah – but travel rules must be followed – SAMTOA

By Al Qalam Reporter

When Umrah travel opened up to South Africans recently, perhaps the biggest relief was that there was not going to be a quarantine period, providing pilgrims are fully vaccinated.

Ismail Olla, Deputy Secretary General of The South African Muslim Travel Operators Association (SAMTOA) told Al Qalam, the news of Umrah 1443 opening up to South Africans was received with “Great joy and excitement”

“As this information is ever changing and the procedures are dictated by Saudi Authorities, we request the public to please bear patience as more information is brought to light. SAMTOA will advise with further updates.

Currently, tourist visas are not approved for South Africa.

But before you start packing, make sure you comply with the following rules which will be explained to you in detail by your SAMTOA agent.

Here is a summary of the current rules and requirements to date: • Pilgrims must be fully vaccinated
• Pilgrims 18 years and older will be permitted to travel for Umrah
• No quarantine upon arrival in KSA
• Maximum 2 persons sharing a room
• Only One Umrah will be permitted
• Tawaaf permitted with your one Umrah – no additional Tawaaf’s allowed
• Pre booking of Salah will be required for Makkah
• Salah in Madinah permitted without any pre booking
• Visits to The Rawdah & Ziyareth of Masjid Un Nabawi must be pre booked
• Full packages to be purchased through registered agents only who will secure all
reservations via the recognized Ministry of Hajj & Umrah portals
• Hotel & Flight bookings are currently not permitted directly or online
• Bookings need to be processed minimum 14 days prior to departure

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