Islamic Ministry says the government has extended the permits it issued to companies that had planned to facilitate Umrah trips.

In an announcement, the Ministry said that under Article 4, section (b) of the Guidelines on taking Maldivians to Umrah, the companies were issued permits for a period of two (2) years.

The Ministry noted that these companies were unable to plan Umrah trips during 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions currently in place.

It said, for this reason, the Ministry had decided to extend the duration of the permits by one year from the day the current permit expires.

Islamic Ministry also said that it made the decision with the powers vested to the ministry under Article 24 of the Guidelines on taking Maldivians to Umrah.

Just like last year, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia had decided this year that it would not allow Muslims from other nations to attend the annual Hajj pilgrimage due to the COVID-19 pandemic and only permitted a selected number of its own citizens and citizens of other nationalities residing in the kingdom to perform the rituals of hajj this year.