Saudi Arabia has suspended the umrah pilgrimage to Mecca for its citizens and residents in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Saudi Arabia has temporarily suspended Umrah and visits to the Prophet’s Mosque for residents of the country as a precautionary measure to stop the spread of coronavirus, Saudi Gazette has tweeted
#BREAKING: #SaudiArabia announces a temporary suspension of #Umrah pilgrimage and visit to the Prophet’s Mosque for Saudis and residents as a precautionary measure to stop the spread of #Coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/oM1JHxI2JY
— Saudi Gazette (@Saudi_Gazette) March 4, 2020
The decision will be reviewed regularly and reversed when the situation changes, SPA said, citing an official source in the Saudi interior ministry.
Officials in the KSA said the ban was temporary but gave no indication how long it might last. It comes amid a broader ban on visa holders from states deemed most likely to pose a risk to regional health.
“The kingdom’s government has decided to [suspend] entry to the kingdom for the purpose of umrah and visit the Prophet’s mosque temporarily,” the Saudi foreign ministry said in a statement.
While not explicitly stating which nations that referred to, border authorities at Riyadh’s King Khalid international airport were screening passengers from Iran, China, South Korea and Italy, from where clusters of coronavirus have spread across neighbouring borders.