Looking forward to performing your umrah in Mecca this year?
It could happen.
Officials in Saudi have partially resumed the umrah pilgrimages.
It's not going to exactly how it used to though as strict health precautions have been put in place.
According to a report in AFP, following the decision, thousands of worshippers have been allowed to enter the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca in batches to circle the Kaaba now.
All umrah pilgrimages were suspended in March this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Worshippers allowed to perform hajj in phases
Saudi Hajj Minister Mohammad Benten said worshippers would be allowed to perform umrah in three phases.
The first phase would see 6,000 pilgrims being allowed to pray at a time while 40,000 and 60,000 worshippers will be allowed in for the second stage and third stage respectively.
“In an atmosphere of faith and with assured hearts... the first batch of pilgrims will begin the pilgrimage in accordance with the precautionary measures laid out,” he Tweeted.
Among the restrictions imposed include no touching of the Black Stone in the eastern corner of the Kaaba which was customary prior to this.
Also, each group of 20 or 25 pilgrims will be accompanied by a health worker and medical teams will be on the ground in case of an emergency.
To date, the country’s health authorities said no COVID-19 cases were reported at the holy sites during the hajj.