The Saudi authorities will allow the umra or minor pilgrimage of Muslims with a program in four phases, which will begin on October 4 and with an initial influx of the faithful of 30% that will gradually increase to 100%.
The official SPA agency reported that an unidentified source from the Interior Ministry announced the decision to re-establish the umra, which has been suspended since the end of February as part of the measures to prevent the expansion of the COVID-19.
Opening of the Great Mosque
The source pointed out that the first stage will begin on October 4, enabling entry to the Great Mosque of Mecca to residents of the kingdom up to a maximum of 30% of the capacity, about 6,000 pilgrims.
In a second phase, which will begin on October 18, the entry will be increased to 75%, about 15,000 pilgrims, and in a third, from November 1 it will be expanded to 100%, and will be extended to the faithful inside and outside of Saudi Arabia.
“At this stage, the arrival of pilgrims and visitors from outside the Kingdom will be gradual and from countries where the Ministry of Health decides that there are no health risks related to the pandemic of coronavirus, “he says.
Finally, the fourth stage involves opening the full capacity of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque once the authorities decide there is health risk. Pilgrims will be able to do the umra by requesting it through an internet application.
The source indicated that the deadlines will be subject to continuous review and that the distance measurements and hygiene in holy places for Muslims. This approval comes “in response to the aspiration of many Muslims at home and abroad” to carry out the pilgrimage.
The Saudi authorities suspended the minor pilgrimage on February 27 as the pandemic began to hit Muslim countries. The great pilgrimage or hach It took place at the end of July with a limited number of about a thousand faithful, who were given permission to make the trip to the holy places that every Muslim must make once in their life.