Covid-19: Saudi Arabia Suspends Religious Pilgrimage to Mecca, Medina indefinitely

Muslim pilgrims pray at Mount Arafat, also known as Jabal al-Rahma (Mount of Mercy), southeast of the Saudi holy city of Mecca, as the climax of the Hajj pilgrimage approaches on August 10, 2019. - Arafat is the site where Muslims believe the Prophet Mohammed gave his last sermon about 14 centuries ago after leading his followers on the pilgrimage. The ultra-conservative kingdom, which is undergoing dramatic social and economic reforms, has mobilised vast resources for the six-day journey, one of the five pillars of Islam. (Photo by FETHI BELAID / AFP)

Covid-19: Saudi Arabia Suspends Religious Pilgrimage to Mecca, Medina indefinitely

As a precautionary measure aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19 (Coronavirus), the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has banned religious pilgrimages to Mecca or Medina.

In a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the Kingdom, it was disclosed that they had been following developments of the virus for some time.

The Kingdom also pledged support to countries impacted by the virus, adding that they would be implementing ‘approved international standards’ in the form of a temporary ban on pilgrimages.

They also temporarily suspended entry into the Kingdom for the purpose of Umrah and visiting the Prophet’s Mosque.

The statement also revealed that the Kingdom would be suspending Saudi nationals and citizens of the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council with national identity cards from travelling to and from the Kingdom, with the exception of Saudis who are abroad.

‘The Kingdom affirms that these procedures are temporary, and is subject to continuous evaluation by the competent authorities.’

‘The Kingdom renews its support for all international measures taken to limit the spread of the virus.

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‘The Foreign Ministry calls on citizens not to travel to countries where the new Coronavirus (COVID) is spreading. We ask God Almighty to spare us all humanity, all harm.’

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