Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia extends ban on Umrah pilgrims till March 31

Saudi suspends 'umrah' pilgrimage over fears of coronavirus spread

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Wednesday has extended the ban on Umrah pilgrims and other visitors in a wake of coronavirus outbreak.
According to details, Saudia airlines has issued a notification and informed Umrah pilgrims, visitors and station managers about the travel ban. The airlines has also cancelled tickets in this regard.
However, people who possess Saudi Arabia’s residence permits and business visas can still travel to the kingdom.
Earlier on February 28, Saudi Arabia had suspended visas for pilgrims wishing to visit Makkah over coronavirus fears, the foreign ministry said.
The government was “suspending entry to the Kingdom for the purpose of Umrah and visiting the Prophet’s Mosque temporarily”, the foreign ministry said in a statement, referring to the Islamic pilgrimage to Makkah that can be undertaken at any time of year.
Umrah attracts tens of thousands of devout Muslims from all over the globe each month.
The foreign ministry said it was also suspending visas for tourists visiting from countries where the new virus is a “danger”.


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