First group of pilgrims perform Umrah in Mecca amid coronavirus precautions

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Hajj and Umrah Warns of Dealing with Suspicious Websites

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.