Photo: Pilgrims performing the tawaf around the Kaaba in Masjid Al Haram in Makkah on Oct 22, 2020. Ayman Zaid/Shutterstock

Islamic Lifestyle

Saudi Arabia expects 20,000 on Nov 1 when umrah reopens to foreign pilgrims

Saudi Arabia will start stage three of the re-opening of umrah on Sunday (Nov 1), expecting 20,000 pilgrims per day including those from abroad.

Authorities say they are also ready for 60,000 worshippers per day at the Masjid Al Haram in Makkah, reported state news agency SPA. Admittance for pilgrims from abroad will be gradual from countries free from COVID-19 health risks.

The kingdom re-opened for umrah on Oct 4 for citizens and residents in the country after suspending the pilgrimage in late February as part of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Stage two increased the number of pilgrims from 6,000 to 15,000 and 40,000 worshippers per day in the Masjid Al Haram but still did not include foreign visitors.

Masjid Al Nabawi in Madinah will be at 100% capacity from Sunday after a reduced 75% limit from Oct 18.

Precautionary measures and social distancing are still in place, according to authorities.

Approval for umrah will be regulated using a new app called Etamarna from the Saudi Ministry for Hajj and Umrah.  

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