An official source at the Ministry of Interior of Saudi Arabia announced that the performance of Umrah will be gradually permitted in a four phase process starting on October 4th (17th Safar).
The phases announced will see Saudi citizens and residents permitted to perform Umrah first, followed by gradually increasing capacity in stages, eventually seeing citizens and residents of Saudi Arabia inside and outside of Saudi Arabia allowed to perform Umrah by the end of October (15 Rabi-al-Awwal).
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What are the phases?
Phase One: As of 4th October residents and citizens of Saudi Arabia will be permitted to perform Umrah at a maximum of 6,000 a day from 17th Safar 1442.
Masjid Nabawi, the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, will be open to 75% of maximum capacity.
Phase Two: The number of pilgrims will be increased from 15,000 to 40,000 worshippers and pilgrims a day from 1st Rabi-al-Awwal 1442.
Masjid Nabawi will be open to 100% capacity.
Phase Three: Residents and citizens from inside and outside of Saudi Arabia. Capacity will be between 20,000 and 60,000. This will be implemented from 15th Rabi-al-Awwal 1442 and remain such until the pandemic ends.
Phase Four: When it is declared that the pandemic has ended, the worshippers will return to 100% of capacity of Masjid al Haram. After this, international pilgrims will be permitted to return to perform Umrah.
“This news is definitely one which will bring happiness to every Muslim. We pray that Allah rids the world of this pandemic and enters us to his mercy, allowing us to perform Hajj and Umrah again”– Taiyab Raja, co-founder of Hujjaj.co the Hajj & Umrah comparison platform
What other steps will be in place
The Saudi authorities have implemented state-of-the-art equipment to disinfect pilgrims as they enter the two Holy Mosques. It is understood that temperatures of pilgrims will be taken at the entrance gates and social distancing will be strictly enforced at all times including the performance of Umrah and prayer.
It is also understood that the drinking fountains will remained closed and food will not be permitted in the Mosque, bottled Zam-Zam will instead be handed to worshippers. It is likely that wearing of masks at all times will be enforced for the safety of all pilgrims.
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