Saudi Ministry said they will begin to lift the ban on the Islamic pilgrimage to Makkah starting October
23 September 2020| Last updated on 23 September 2020
The Umrah pilgrimage was suspended for seven months due to the pandemic
The Saudi Arabia Interior Ministry confirmed that they will gradually reopen the year-round Umrah pilgrimage from Sunday, October 4 in stages.
The first stage will allow maximum 6,000 Saudi citizens and residents within the kingdom to perform the Umrah per day.
Capacity will increased to 75 per cent on October 18.
Muslim visitors from outside the country can enter from November 1, when the capacity will be increased to 20,000 pilgrims per day. However, visitors travelling from specific countries that are deemed safe will only be permitted.
The Umrah, which is an Islamic pilgrimage to Makkah and Medina, is undertaken at any time of the year and attracts millions of Muslims from around the world annually. Last year, an estimated 19 million visitors came to Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage.
In March, the ministry limited entry as a preventive measure against the Covid-19 outbreak. This year only saw a few thousand Saudi nationals and Muslim residents for a safe pilgrimage.
Umrah will allowed to resume at 100 per cent capacity once the threat of the pandemic is eliminated.
Saudi officials reported 551 new Covid-19 cases, 1,078 recoveries and 28 further deaths.
There are currently 15,383 active cases in KSA.
The total cases of coronavirus in the kingdom stands at 330,798.
309,430 recovered successfully and 4,542 met Covid-related deaths.