PESHAWAR: Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Noor ul Haq Qadri on Sunday said that restrictions for Pakistani Umrah pilgrims would be lifted in the next two to three weeks, ARY NEWS reported.
Inaugurating a new building for Hajj pilgrims at Haji Camp phase 7 in Peshawar, the minister said COVID-related restrictions are easing globally and soon restrictions for Umrah pilgrims would be relaxed.
He said that the new building for the pilgrims would help in facilitating them under one roof. “Besides teaching courses and classes for Hajj pilgrims, the facility will also offer verification of required documents and COVID vaccination under one roof,” he said.
Noor ul Haq Qadri further negated that any increased payments are being received in terms of Hajj and Umrah from the pilgrims and said that an additional expense is owing to a hike in fares of airlines.
Federal religious affairs minister Noor ul Haq Qadri said on August 09 Pakistani pilgrims, among those from nine states, haven’t been allowed entry into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) as it opens Umrah applications.
Speaking today to ARY News morning show Bakhabar Savera, the minister said Pakistan was still amongst the nine countries not allowed unconditionally into the Kingdom.
Saudi Arabia has conditionally allowed travellers who have completed two doses of the Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines only after they receive an additional dose of one of the four approved vaccines.
The guidelines were issued by the Saudi Arabian e-visa portal for the travellers after reopening the entry of vaccinated international visitors from August 1.
The Saudi authorities directed the guests, who have received two doses of the Chinese vaccines including Sinovac and Sinopharm, to get a booster shot of one of the four approved vaccines including Oxford/Astra Zeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna or Johnson and Johnson.