Saudi Arabia to gradually resume Umrah pilgrimage from Oct. 4

Saudi Arabia to gradually resume Umrah pilgrimage from Oct. 4
Cleaners wear protective face masks as they sweep the floor of the Kaaba in the Grand Mosque in the city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. (File/Reuters)
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Updated 23 September 2020

Saudi Arabia to gradually resume Umrah pilgrimage from Oct. 4

Saudi Arabia to gradually resume Umrah pilgrimage from Oct. 4
  • Visitors from outside the Kingdom will be allowed from Nov. 1
  • The decision will be subject to continuous evaluation based on COVID-19

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday it would start allowing pilgrims to perform Umrah in gradual stages, while taking the necessary precautions.
The Ministry of Interior said the decision was made after assessing the developments of the coronavirus and in response to the desire of Muslims around the world to perform the ritual.
The first phase of the gradual return will include allowing citizens and expatriates from within the Kingdom to perform Umrah at a capacity of 30 percent from Oct. 4. This is the equivalent of 6,000 pilgrims per day.
The second phase will increase the capacity of the Grand Mosque to 75 percent, which would include 15,000 pilgrims and 40,000 worshippers a day from Oct. 18.
In the third phase, pilgrims from abroad would be allowed to perform Umrah as of Nov. 1 with at full capacity of 20,000 pilgrims and 60,000 worshippers per day.
The fourth stage will see the Grand Mosque return to normal, when all the COVID-19 risks have gone away.
The entry of pilgrims, worshippers and visitors will be regulated through an application called “I’tamarna.” 
The app is to be launched by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, with the aim of enforcing health standards and making it easier for pilgrims to book their journeys.
The Ministry of Interior called on all people attending the holy sites to adhere to the preventive measures, wear face masks, maintain a safe distances from others, and refrain from physical contact.
The ministry said Saudi Arabia wants to “empower pilgrims, both from inside and outside the Kingdom, to be able to perform “the ritual in a safe and healthy manner,” while protecting them from the threats of the pandemic.”

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Saudi Volunteer Day strengthens the values of citizenship and giving

The Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goal is to have 1 million male and female volunteers by the end of the decade. (SPA)
Updated 24 min 55 sec ago

Saudi Volunteer Day strengthens the values of citizenship and giving

Saudi Volunteer Day strengthens the values of citizenship and giving
  • Saudi Volunteer Day is part of the ministry’s initiatives related to volunteer work, including launching the Voluntary Work Platform on March 31

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia celebrated International Volunteer Day on Saturday by launching Saudi Volunteer Day to strengthen the values of volunteer work included in the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goal to have 1 million male and female volunteers by the end of the decade.
The event, titled “Ataa Watan” (A Country’s Giving) is supported by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, and covers all 13 regions of the Kingdom, to spread awareness about the positive impact of volunteer work on the individual and society.
Starting from this year, to be held for three consecutive years, the ministry aims to boost volunteer work, with the event accompanied by a guidebook.
Saudi Volunteer Day is part of the ministry’s initiatives related to volunteer work, including launching the Voluntary Work Platform on March 31. The ministry launched a number of new initiatives as part of Saudi Volunteer Day 2020, including the Health Awareness Initiative, organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, targeting the whole of Saudi society.

FASTFACT

International Volunteer Day is an international event launched in 1985 by the UN and held on Dec. 5 of every year, to appreciate and thank volunteers all over the world for their work and efforts, and to strengthen the culture of volunteering.

It also launched the Restoring and Rehabilitating Residences and Buildings Initiative, organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing, with the aim of repairing, restoring and refurbishing the houses of families in need and those belonging to people with low incomes, as well as carrying out restoration and decoration work at sites in public places, including schools and mosques.
The ministry also launched the Afforestation Initiative, which aims to boost the efforts of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture of Saudi Arabia to fight desertification and plant 12 million trees by 2020 in various regions of the Kingdom. This initiative is organized in collaboration with various agricultural societies, plant nurseries, farms, Scout groups, volunteer teams in universities and education administrations, and volunteering societies.
International Volunteer Day is an international event launched in 1985 by the UN and held on Dec. 5 of every year, to appreciate and thank volunteers all over the world for their work and efforts, and to strengthen the culture of volunteering.