Saudi Arabia government has resumed the third phase of Umrah pilgrimage for Muslims belonging to foreign countries is starting from today (Sunday). The government has announced fresh measures for the Umrah pilgrimage, which was suspended for six months due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Around 10,000 international pilgrims are arriving in Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah.
According to media reports, 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 Covid19.
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.
The Secretary General, Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen said in a statement that 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.
The government of Saudi Arabia intends to restart the Umrah service for pilgrims in four phases. In the first phase, 30% of the pilgrims will be allowed to perform the pilgrimage, which roughly makes it 6,000 pilgrims per day. This is slated to begin from October 4. Second phase will see the capacity of the Grand Mosque increase to 75%, which means an estimated 15,000 pilgrims and 40,000 worshippers a day can be included from October 18.
Saudi Arabia will then permit foreign pilgrims to perform Umrah from November 1 in the third phase, allowing a capacity of 20,000 pilgrims and 60,000 worshippers per day. Fourth stage will see the Grand Mosque allow the usual amount of pilgrims. However, this will take place when all Covid19 risks have gone away.