Saudi Arabia announces the phase-wise resumption of Umrah after a seven-month pause due to coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement was reported by the Saudi Press Agency on Tuesday citing a source at the Kingdom’s Ministry of Interior.
As being reported, the gradual resumption of Umrah and visits to the Two Holy Mosques with a limited number of pilgrims will be starting from Oct. 4, 2020, 21 Safar 1442.
Furthermore, Saudi Arabia will allow international visitors from specific countries to take part in Umrah, starting from November 1, 15 Rabi Al Awwal 1442, subject to the Coronavirus pandemic situation at countries of origin.
As per the source, the following are the stages announced in the official statement that will be subjected to continuous evaluation, according to the developments of the pandemic.
In the first phase, citizens and expatriates from within the Kingdom will be allowed to perform Umrah at a capacity of 30 percent from Oct. 4 that translates to 6,000 pilgrims per day following the health precautionary measures of the Grand Mosque.
In the second phase, citizens and expatriates inside the Kingdom will be allowed to perform Umrah, visit the Rawdah in the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, and pray in Two Holy Mosques, starting from Oct. 18, with a 75 percent capacity limit that is equivalent of nearly 15,000 pilgrims per day and 40,000 worshippers per day following the health precautionary measures for the Grand Mosque, as well as 75 percent of the capacity in line with the health precautionary measures for the Rawdah in the Prophet’s Mosque.
In the third phase, pilgrims from abroad would be allowed to perform Umrah as of Nov. 1 with a full capacity of 20,000 pilgrims and 60,000 worshipers per day and it will continue until the official end of the coronavirus pandemic or the official announcement that the danger is over. The arrival of Umrah performers and visitors from outside the Kingdom shall be gradual from the countries that are free from health risks related to the coronavirus pandemic, the source added.
The fourth phase will allow the performance of Umrah, visit, and prayers by citizens and expatriates from inside and outside the Kingdom, at 100 percent of the normal capacity of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque, when the competent authority decides that the risks of the pandemic have disappeared.
Furthermore, the entry of pilgrims, worshipers, and visitors will be regulated through the application (Etamarna), which will be launched by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, with the aim of implementing the health standards and controls approved by the Ministry of Health and the competent authorities.