Saudi Arabia allowed on Sunday the resumption of Umrah pilgrimage amid strict coronavirus precautions.
Pilgrims circumambulated the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in Mecca; while keeping a distance from one another and wearing face masks.
In late February, Saudi Arabia also announced the temporary suspension of entry for individuals; seeking to perform Umrah pilgrimage in Mecca or visiting the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina; as part of the measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.
On March 4, the Kingdom also suspended Umrah pilgrimage for its citizens and residents. By mid-March, the Kingdom additionally had suspended performing group Friday; and daily prayers in all of its mosques as a precaution against the coronavirus as well.
Umrah is a pilgrimage to Mecca. However, unlike Hajj, it is not mandatory, can be completed within a few hours, and can be performed year-round. Some Umrah pilgrims choose to visit the Prophet’s mosque in Medina.
Saudi Arabia announced in September that it will begin gradually allowing Umrah pilgrimage starting from October 4 in stages.