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Saudi Arabia finally announced October 4th for resumption of lesser hajj




Seven months after shutting down the two holy mosques in Makkah and Medina, the Saudi Arabia government has announced that Muslims would be allowed to perform lesser hajj (umrah) starting from October.


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Fivestardiary reports that the Saudi authority closed the mosques in February to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic among people, especially the foreign pilgrims.

A report by Arab News indicates that Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday, September 22, that it would start allowing pilgrims to perform Umrah in gradual stages while taking the necessary precautions.

The newspaper noted that the Saudi’s ministry of interior said the decision was made after assessing the developments of the coronavirus and in response to the desire of Muslims around the world to perform the ritual pilgrimage.


It said that the first phase of the gradual return would include allowing citizens and expatriates from within the Kingdom to perform Umrah at a capacity of 30% from October 4, saying that this would be equivalent to 6,000 pilgrims per day.

The report also noted that the second phase would increase the capacity of the Grand Mosque to 75%, which would include 15,000 pilgrims and 40,000 worshippers a day from October 18.

In the third phase, according to the news, pilgrims from abroad would be allowed to perform Umrah as of November 1, with a full capacity of 20,000 pilgrims and 60,000 worshippers per day.

It stressed that the fourth stage would see the Grand Mosque return to normal when all the COVID-19 risks have gone away.

The entry of pilgrims, worshippers and visitors will be regulated through an application called “I’tamarna.”

The newspaper added that the app is to be launched by the ministry of Hajj and Umrah, with the aim of enforcing health standards and making it easier for pilgrims to book their journeys.

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It said the ministry of interior called on all people attending the holy sites to adhere to the preventive measures, wear face masks, maintain safe distances from others, and refrain from physical contact.