As per precautionary measures, 500 groups of international pilgrims are dispersed throughout the day, each with 20 pilgrims. The maximum age limit for international pilgrims is set at 50.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has allowed its citizens and residents to perform Umrah at 75 percent capacity as part of its second phase of gradual resumption of the pilgrimage, said the Saudi Press Agency.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, in cooperation with the concerned authorities, received after midnight, the first vanguard of Umrah performers from inside the Kingdom.
Under the auspices of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, and with the follow-up of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, Saudi Arabia officially launched on Tuesday the “Enriching Hajj & Umrah Experience” programme, one of the most important Vision 2030 programmes.
The country of 30 million people recorded its first COVID-19 infection on March 2. Health authorities said in April the virus could eventually infect between 10,000 and 200,000 people in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom topped 50,000 cases on May 16.
The UAE Cabinet adopts several decisions related to improving the work of the federal government, supporting various national sectors in minimising the effects of the coronavirus.
Saudi Arabia will end a nationwide curfew and lift restrictions on businesses from Sunday morning after three months of lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus, state news agency SPA quoted a source in the interior ministry as saying on Saturday.
The state-run Saudi Press Agency cited Saleh Bin Taher Banten's remarks in stories early on Wednesday, saying that Muslims should "be patient” in making their plans for the Hajj. The pilgrimage was expected to begin in late July this year.
The announcement comes amid uncertainty over the Hajj which is due to take place at the end of July, after authorities this week urged Muslims to temporarily defer preparations for the annual pilgrimage.
Pictures and footage on Sunday showed people praying side by side, making straight rows of worshippers that are formations revered in performing Muslim prayers, for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold last year.