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The year-round Umrah pilgrimage for Muslims from October 4 will be gradually resumed by Saudi Arabia, the interior ministry said, seven months after it was suspended due to the extreme coronavirus pandemic.
In March, the kingdom suspended Umrah and then scaled back the annual Haj in a blow to millions of pilgrims around the world amid concerns that the coronavirus would spread to the holiest sites of Islam.
In the first stage, “6,000 citizens and residents within the kingdom will be allowed to perform Umrah per day from October 4”, the ministry said in a statement published by the official Saudi Press Agency.
From November 1, when Umrah ‘s capacity will be raised to 20,000 pilgrims per day, visitors from outside the kingdom will be allowed, the ministry added.
The ministry said that, once the threat of the pandemic is eliminated, Umrah will be allowed to resume at maximum “natural capacity,” AFP stated.