Saudi Arabia bans Umrah for domestic pilgrims

Saudi Arabia has imposed a temporary ban on performing Umrah on domestic pilgrims. The decision has been taken to stop the spread of Coronavirus in the country.

On the 27th of Feb, the government of Saudi Arabia suspended Umrah travel from all around the world on a temporary basis. Moreover, they also imposed a ban on issuing a tourist visa to people coming from 22 countries.

However, the authorities have clarified that passengers holding employment visa, work visit visa, business visit visa and family visit visa are exempted from the travel restrictions.

5538 Saudi Arabia suspends entry for Umrah pilgrims (2)

Can we enter the city of Makkah?

According to the orders, Saudi Nationals, GCC nationals and even those who came on the Umrah visa would not be allowed to enter the city of Makkah wearing Ihram.

However, if someone is not wearing Ihram, he can still enter the boundaries of Makkah. Taking into account the threat of viruses, I think we should proactively avoid congregation and crowded places.

Can people inside Makkah perform Umrah?

People who are already inside Makkah cannot be stopped by the government as it would be wrong to stop anyone from performing Umrah.

The government is only controlling the entry points to Makkah. However, for your own safety, you should avoid doing it.

How long the ban will continue?

If you are thinking how long the ban would continue, believe me even authorities do not know about it. They will continue to review the decision and withdraw the ban when safe.

The government has been trying their level best to send back Umrah pilgrims to their home countries safely as soon as possible.

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Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.