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Umrah pilgrimage resumes in Saudi Arabia after 7-month pause

Under the new rules, only 6,000 citizens and residents per day are permitted to perform umrah.
Saudis and foreign residents walk down a hallway during Umrah in the Grand Mosque complex in the holy city of Mecca, on October 4, 2020, as authorities partially resume the year-round pilgrimage amid extensive health precautions after a seven-month coronavirus hiatus. (Photo by BANDAR AL-DANDANI / AFP) (Photo by BANDAR AL-DANDANI/AFP via Getty Images)

A limited number of citizens and residents of Saudi Arabia can now perform umrah at the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, seven months after the pilgrimage that draws millions to the kingdom each year was put on hold due to the coronavirus.

Some 6,000 people performed the ritual on Sunday while adhering to strict social distancing measures. The Interior Ministry announced last month that authorities would gradually increase the number of pilgrims allowed in Mecca’s Grand Mosque. By Nov. 1, Saudi officials plan to welcome up to 20,000 pilgrims and 60,000 for prayer daily from a list of countries considered safe for travel.

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