Issued on: 04/03/2020 – 14:57Modified: 04/03/2020 – 14:57
Saudi Arabia on Wednesday suspended the year-round “umrah” pilgrimage over fears of the new coronavirus spreading to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, the interior ministry said.
The Gulf state has decided “to suspend umrah temporarily for citizens and residents in the kingdom”, the ministry said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.
They were also barred from “visits to the Prophets mosque in Medina”, according to a foreign ministry tweet.
The decision comes after Saudi Arabia last week suspended visas for the pilgrimage and barred citizens from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council from entering Mecca and Medina, two of Islams holiest cities.