Saudi Arabia will gradually lift a coronavirus-related travel ban for the Umrah pilgrimage starting early next month, its official news agency said early Wednesday.
The first phase of the gradual return will include allowing citizens and expatriates from within the Kingdom to perform Umrah at a capacity of 30 percent from Oct. 4. This is the equivalent of 6,000 pilgrims per day.
The second phase will increase the capacity of the Grand Mosque to 75 percent, which would include 15,000 pilgrims and 40,000 worshippers a day from Oct. 18.
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 worshippers per day.
The fourth stage will see the Grand Mosque return to normal when all the COVID-19 risks have gone away.
“An official source at the Ministry of Interior affirms the Kingdom’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,” Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said on Twitter in English.
Sources: Arab News