RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will gradually restart the October 4 Umrah pilgrimage, the Ministry of the Interior of the Kingdom reported on Tuesday.
The ministry said the decision was taken after analysing the situation of the coronavirus and in response to Muslims around the world ‘s willingness to conduct the rite.
In the first step, from October 4, 6,000 people and expatriates from within the kingdom will be permitted to conduct Umrah every day, the ministry said in a statement. The second step would raise the capacity of the Grand Mosque to 75 percent, which, from 18 October, will include 15,000 pilgrims and 40,000 worshipers a day.
In the third process, with a maximum capacity of 20,000 pilgrims and 60,000 worshippers per day, pilgrims from abroad will be permitted to conduct Umrah from November 1. The fourth stage will see the return of the Grand Mosque to normal, when all the threats of COVID-19 are gone.
An application called “I’tamarna” will be launched by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah to control the entry of pilgrims, worshippers, and tourists, ensure adherence to health standards, and facilitate pilgrims to book their trips.
The Ministry of the Interior welcomed all visitors to the holy sites to comply with protective measures, to wear face masks, to maintain a healthy distance from others and to refrain from physical contact.
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