Saudi Arabia suspends Umrah pilgrimage for citizens, residents

File photo: Muslim pilgrims wait to perform evening prayers

Saudi Arabia, on Wednesday temporarily halted citizens and foreign residents from carrying out the Umrah pilgrimage in Makkah to prevent coronavirus spread, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

According to SPA, the suspension is part of the precautionary measures the government has taken to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

The measure is coming after Riyadh banned people from travelling to Saudi Arabia to complete the Umrah pilgrimage to Makkah or to visit the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina.

Millions travel to Saudi Arabia every year to perform Umrah, a smaller pilgrimage than the Hajj, and it could be undertaken at any time during the year.

However, the 2020 bigger Hajj was expected to commence in July.(dpa/NAN)