Saudi Arabia will allow pilgrims living inside the country to perform the Umrah pilgrimage at a reduced capacity from early next month, after it was suspended earlier this year due to Covid-19 concerns, state news agency SPA reported Tuesday.
Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca that can be undertaken at any time of the year, unlike the Ḥajj, which has specific dates. It is also much smaller than the Hajj.
According to the SPA report, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior said the Kingdom will allow pilgrims to perform Umrah in gradual reopening phases. They will also need to take health precautions.
Two phases: The first phase, which starts on October 4, allows pilgrims to attend Umrah at 30% capacity -- or around 6,000 citizens and residents. The second phase, scheduled for October 18, will increase capacity to 75%.