Though it is for the first time that Saudi Arabia has permitted women to travel without Mehram (male relative accompanying a woman in Islamic societies) for performing Haj pilgrimage, the country’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced pre-conditions for implementing this new rule.
According to Saudi media reports, the ministry has said that women above 45 years of age could come in a group to perform Haj or Umrah are permitted without being accompanied by a male relative.
The statement said, "If the female candidate is below 45 years of age, then Umrah visa will not be issued without Muharram."
It may be recalled that the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced another facility for Umrah pilgrims from abroad. Under this, non-vaccinated persons will be allowed to pray in Umrah and Masjid al-Haram and Masjid al-Nabawi, provided that Umrah pilgrims have contracted the Corona virus and have not met any Corona patients.
Earlier, the Saudi government had issued new rules for visiting Umrah, Masjid al-Haram and Masjid al-Nabawi from abroad.
The statement said that Umrah pilgrims coming from abroad would have to obtain online visas. Online Umrah visa will be issued to the medical insurance holder. The insurance scheme must provide medical treatment in case of coronavirus infection. The Saudi government has lifted some restrictions on Umrah.
Hotel quarantine is not needed for those who have submitted the PCR test report before coming for the pilgrimage. The ban on social distance during Umrah and Haj has also been done away with.