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Saudi Arabia has imposed a non permanent ban on religious pilgrimage, recognized as Umrah, to historic Islamic shrines in Mecca and Medina over the coronavirus outbreak that has a short while ago distribute to the Center East.
The oil-loaded kingdom introduced Wednesday that the limits have been set in location to “provide the utmost protection” to those living in Saudi Arabia as nicely pilgrims and vacationers willing to check out the country.
In a assertion, the Saudi International Ministry claimed that the federal government would suspend “entry to the kingdom for the goal of Umrah” as nicely as for checking out The Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, the next holiest website in Islam right after the Grand Mosque in Mecca.
Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca that can be undertaken at any time of the calendar year as opposed to Ḥajj that should be attempted by every Muslim at least at the time a lifetime within a specific time of the calendar year.
In addition to that, Riyadh suspended entry for any person that has a valid tourist visa but hails from the international locations that have been going through the COVID-19 outbreak.
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Saudis and citizens of the 5 other nations that comprise The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates – will be barred from using their nationwide ID playing cards to either leave or arrive into the kingdom, the ministry claimed, noting that those Saudis citizens who want to return from overseas and GCC nationals who are now in Saudi Arabia but want to fly again to their respective dwelling international locations will be exempted from the ban.
It is unclear when the limits would be lifted, with the ministry noting that the shift is “temporary” and “is topic to a constant evaluation by the skilled authorities.”
Riyadh’s selection to partially shut its borders for pilgrims and citizens from the coronavirus-stricken international locations arrives as the virus has been taking maintain in Europe and the Center East. The maximum quantity of coronavirus fatalities outdoors China have been noted in Iran, where 19 people today lifeless, according to the country’s overall health ministry and an additional 139 have been contaminated.
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