Published:Sunday, 04 Oct 2020 10:10
Saudi Arabia will reopen the holy places for the year-round Umra pilgrimage on Sunday, scaled back and with extensive health precautions, seven months after coronavirus prompted its suspension.
Umra usually attracts millions of Muslims from across the globe each year.
It will be revived in three stages, with the initial phase seeing just 6,000 citizens and residents already within the kingdom allowed to take part each day.
“In the first stage, the Umra will be performed meticulously and within a specified period of time,” Haj Minister Mohammad Benten told state television last week.
He said pilgrims will be divided into groups to ensure social distancing within the Grand Mosque in Makkah.
Worshippers will on Sunday be able to perform the ritual of circling the sacred Kaaba along socially distanced paths. _AFP