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Ministry of Interior: Royal Approval Allows Performance of Umrah, Visit Gradually
Published in Saudi Press Agency on 22 - 09 - 2020

An official source at the Ministry of Interior announced that based on the reports of the competent authorities regarding developments in addressing the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and in response to the aspirations of many Muslims at home and abroad to perform Umrah and visit, and based on the wise leadership's keenness on the health and safety of the visitors the Two Holy Mosques, a Royal Approval is issued to allow the performance of Umrah and the visit gradually with taking the necessary health preventative measures, according to the following arrangements and stages:
1- Re-allowing performance of Umrah, entering the Grand Mosque and visiting Holy Raudah in the Prophet's Mosque gradually according to the following stages:
* The first stage: allowing citizens and expatriates in the Kingdom to perform Umrah, starting from Sunday Safar 17, 1442H corresponding to October 4, 2020 AD, at 30% (6 thousand Umrah performers / day) of the capacity with taking into account the health precautionary measures of the Grand Mosque.
* The second phase: allowing the performance of Umrah, visiting and prayers by citizens and expatriates in the Kingdom, starting on Sunday Rabi Al-Awwal 1, 1442H corresponding to October 18, 2020 AD, at 75% (15 thousand pilgrims / day, 40 thousand worshipers / day) of the capacity with taking into account the health precautionary measures for the Grand Mosque, as well as 75% of the capacity in line with the health precautionary measures for the Holy Raudah in the Prophet's Mosque.
* The third stage: Allowing the performance of Umrah, visit and prayers by citizens and expatriates from inside and outside the Kingdom, starting from Sunday Rabi` Al-Awwal 15, 1442H corresponding to November 1, 2020 AD, until the official announcement of the end of the COVID-19 pandemic or the disappearance of the danger, at 100% (20 thousand pilgrims / day, 60 thousand worshipers / day) of the capacity with taking into account the health precautionary measures of the Grand Mosque, and 100% of the capacity with taking into account the health precautionary measures of the Prophet's Mosque. The arrival of Umrah performers and visitors from outside the Kingdom shall be gradual from the countries that are free from health risks related to the Corona pandemic as the Health Ministry announced, the source added.
* The fourth stage: allowing the performance of Umrah, visit and prayers by citizens and expatriates from inside and outside the Kingdom, at 100% of the normal capacity of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet's Mosque, when the competent authority decides that the risks of the pandemic is disappeared.
2- The entry of pilgrims, worshipers and visitors shall be regulated through the application (Etamarna), which will be launched by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, with the aim of implementing the health standards and controls approved by the Ministry of Health and the competent authorities.
The source called upon pilgrims, worshipers and visitors to adhere to preventive measures and apply the health instructions and requirements, including wearing masks, keeping a safe distance, and avoiding a physical contact.
The source affirmed the Kingdom's keenness to enable the pilgrims from inside and outside the Kingdom to perform the rituals in a safe and healthy manner fulfilling the preventative requirements and spatial distancing in order to ensure human safety and protection from the threats of this pandemic, and achieve the objectives of the Islamic law in preserving human lives.
The source explained that the stages announced in this statement will be subjected to continuous evaluation, according to the developments of the pandemic.

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