COVID-19: Saudi Arabia to allow Umrah pilgrims from Oman in November

Dubai: Pilgrims who wish to perform Umrah in the holy land will be able to do so by November this year, local media reported quoting sources at the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs (MERA).

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Saudi Arabia announced that it would be allowing pilgrims to visit the holy site from October 4. But entry would be limited to citizens and residents of the kingdom.

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“We are expecting to send pilgrims from the Sultanate from November this year as they will allow people from outside the country from November 1,” a senior official from the Ministry said.

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The Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs (MERA) welcomed the decision on Holy Haj taken by the kingdom.

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MERA also urged all citizens and residents to abide by the decision and not to try to visit the holy land and to limit their prayers inside their homes.

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“We advise all citizens and residents in the Sultanate of Oman to abide by the decision taken by Saudi Arabia on Umrah and not to try to enter the holy land during the period”, said Abdulaziz bin Masoud al Ghafri, Assistant Director-General of the General Directorate of Preaching and Guidance at the Ministry.

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The capacity and the number of people to be allowed to perform Umrah will be increased and by October 18, nearly 40,000 people will be allowed per day and 75 per cent of the capacity will be utilized.

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By November 1, 100 per cent of the place and resources will be put into use for a congregation of 20,000 people and for facilitating the prayers for nearly 60,000 people per day.

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The kingdom announced a temporary stoppage of Umrah earlier this year after the COVID-19 became widespread and subsequently, performing Haj too was limited to residents and citizens.

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