Saudi Arabia to lift ban on Umrah pilgrimages

Pilgrims waiting for their departure to Saudi Arabia from Maldives | Photo: Mihaaru

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia — The Ministry of Interior of Saudi Arabia has revealed that they will be lifting the ban on Umrah pilgrimage for foreigners.

While foreigners are allowed to take part in the holy pilgrimage starting from November onwards, the residents of Saudi Arabia are allowed starting from October 04.

However, the country has stated that they will only begin pilgrimages after ensuring the safety of all visitors under special protocols.

According to the scheduled phasing opening, during the first phase, only 6,000 indviduals will be allowed to undertake the pilgrimage per day. Shortly after the first phase, a maximum of 15,000 pilgrims will be allowed per day in the second phase on October 18.

Starting from November, the maximum capacity of pilgrims will be extended to 20,000, a significant decrease of how the number before Covid-19.

The country states that they will only raise the capacity to pre-Covid-19 levels if there are no dangers of getting infected by the virus.

Due to the fear of spreading Covid-19 infections, Saudi Arabia was forced to ban foreign visitors from attending both Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages.

A large number of Maldivian tend to attend the holy pilgrimages each year. A trip to pilgrimage roughly costs up to MVR 36,000 per person.