Saudi Arabia resumes international Umrah pilgrimage


RIYADH : The third phase of Umrah pilgrimage resumption for Muslims belonging to foreign countries has started today (Sunday).

The Saudi Arabia government has announced fresh measures for the Umrah pilgrimage, which was suspended for six months due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The barricade placed around the Kaaba and the holy Black Stone will remain in its place and visitors will be prevented from touching them.Masjid al-Haram will be disinfected 10 times a day, while quarantine rooms have already been established for visitors having symptoms of COVID-19.

Announcing the protocols for the resumption of International Umrah, it said that a negative PCR test no earlier than 72-hours before departure time in origin will be needed from the pilgrims while a quarantine period of three days must be completed in the hotel.

“Each group must be accompanied by a registered guide as no individual will be allowed to perform the Umrah,” it said while directing the pilgrims to arrive in the Kingdom with a registered group.

Meanwhile, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation has called on Umrah performers to protect themselves and their families by adhering to the preventive measures approved by the authorities of Saudi Arabia.

In a statement, Secretary-General, Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen said the OIC congratulates Muslims around the world for the return to Umrah after temporary suspension.

He also called on the Muslims to follow Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health protocols.