Saudi Arabia to gradually allow performance of Umrah and visit

Saudi Arabia to gradually allow performance of Umrah and visit

Riyadh (UNA-OIC) – Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior announced the issuance of “Royal Approval” to allow the performance of Umrah and visit for Muslims gradually from Sunday, 4 October 2020, while taking the necessary health preventative measures.

“Based on the reports of the competent authorities regarding developments in addressing the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and in response to the aspirations of many Muslims at home and abroad to perform Umrah and visit, and based on the wise leadership’s keenness on the health and safety of the visitors of the Two Holy Mosques, a Royal Approval is issued to allow the performance of Umrah and the visit gradually while taking the necessary health preventative measures,” said an official source at the Ministry of Interior.

In a statement published on Tuesday by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the ministry outlined that entering the Makkah Grand Mosque, allowance of Umrah performance, and visiting the Holy Raudah in the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah will be done gradually according to the following stages:
First Stage: Allowing citizens and expatriates in the Kingdom to perform Umrah, starting from Sunday, 7 Safar 1442AH (4 October 2020) at 30 percent (6,000 Umrah performers per day) of the capacity, while taking into account the health precautionary measures of the Grand Mosque.
Second Stage: Allowing citizens and expatriates in the Kingdom to perform Umrah, visit, and prayers, from Sunday, 1 Rabi Al-Awwal 1442AH (18 October 2020), at 75 percent (15,000 pilgrims and 40,000 worshipers per day) of the capacity, while taking into account 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 Holy Raudah in the Prophet’s Mosque.
Third Stage: Allowing citizens and expatriates from inside and outside the Kingdom to perform Umrah, visit, and prayers from Sunday, 15 Rabi` Al-Awwal 1442AH (1 November 2020) until the official announcement of the end of the COVID-19 pandemic or the disappearance of the danger, at 100 percent (20,000 pilgrims and 60,000 worshipers per day) of the capacity, while taking into account the health precautionary measures of the Grand Mosque, and 100 percent of the capacity, while taking into account the health precautionary measures of the Prophet’s Mosque.

The arrival of Umrah performers and visitors from outside the Kingdom shall be gradual from countries that are free from health risks related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as announced by the Ministry of Health.
Fourth Stage: Allowing citizens and expatriates from inside and outside the Kingdom to perform Umrah, visit, and prayers at 100 percent of the normal capacity of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque, when the competent authority declares the disappearance of the pandemic risks.

The Interior Ministry stated that the entry of pilgrims, worshipers and visitors shall 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.

The Interior Ministry called upon pilgrims, worshipers and visitors to adhere to the preventive measures and apply the health instructions and requirements, including wearing face masks, keeping safe social distancing, and avoiding physical contact.

The ministry affirmed Saudi Arabia’s keenness to enable the pilgrims from inside and outside the Kingdom to perform the rituals in a safe and healthy manner, fulfilling the preventative requirements and spatial distancing, in order to ensure human safety and protection from the dangers of this pandemic, as well as achieving the objectives of the Islamic law in preserving human lives. It also asserted that the stages announced in this statement will be subjected to continuous evaluation, according to the developments of the pandemic.

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