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Umrah pilgrimage resumes after 6-month break

Umrah pilgrimage resumes after 6-month break

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Oct 04, 2020 - 15:48

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Saudi Arabia on Sunday allowed citizens and residents to start performing Umrah pilgrimage after a six-month hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The kingdom reopened the holiest site for the small hajjinfo-icon at 30 percent capacity or 6,000 pilgrims a day and the first batch of Umrah pilgrims arrived in the wee hours of Sunday, said the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah on Twitter.

Without giving details, the ministry shared photos of visitors entering the Grand Mosqueinfo-icon in Makkah. It will open for faithful from abroad starting November 1.

Earlier, the official SPA news agency reported that the barricade placed around the Kaaba and the holy Black Stone will remain in its place and visitors will be prevented from touching them as part of the COVID-19 measures.

Masjid al-Haram, where the Kaaba is located, will be disinfected 10 times a day, SPA said, adding that quarantine rooms were already prepared for visitors showing symptoms of COVID-19.

Last week, Saudi Arabia announced that it will gradually lift a coronavirus-related travel ban for the Umrah pilgrimage.

The SPA said both local and international worshippers coming for Umrah and worship will be accepted as of Nov. 1, while both Masjid al-Haram and Al-Masjid al-Nabawi will be opened for worship at full capacity by taking COVID-19 protective measures.

Due to the pandemic, the Hajj pilgrimage this year was limited to those living in Saudi Arabia, and pilgrims from abroad were not accepted.

Umrah is the Islamic pilgrimage to the holy city of Meccainfo-icon that Muslims can undertake at any time of the year.

pk/ma

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