The Government of Saudi Arabi has issued a health advisory for Umrah Pilgrims to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus.
Saudi Arabia this week allowed Muslims to perform Umrah starting Oct. 4 as the kingdom gradually begins lifting restrictions that had been in place on Islam’s holiest site for the past seven months due to the COVID-19.
The Health Ministery has allowed up to 6,000 visitors a day at the sprawling Grand Mosque in Mecca, which will be open to Saudi citizens and residents only during this first phase.
The pilgrims have to seek permission letter prior to performing Umrah from the authorities.
The pilgrims are bound to get themselves register via a special application to avoid crowding and maintain social-distancing guidelines.
Visitors can also select via the app their means of transportation and meeting points.
The ministry said it will continuously evaluate these guidelines and developments related to the pandemic.
Moreover, this year, a downsized Hajj had drastically reduced the number of to 10,000 from last year’s 2.5 million.
Some 70% of the pilgrims were foreigners who resided in the kingdom, while the rest were Saudi citizens.
Earlier, during the Hajj pilgrimage, the security forces had arrested 244 people, who attempted to infiltrate the Holy Sites to perform Hajj in violation of precautionary measures and preventive protocols against coronavirus.
After gathering facts, disciplinary steps had been taken against them, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
“The security men have created a tight security cordon in and around the holy sites to enforce these regulations and catch the violators.”
Coronavirus Situation in KSA
Although the Kingdom has put strict health measures in place, despite this fact Saudi Arabia has recorded more than 330,000 cases, including more than 4,500 deaths.