International pilgrims are now allowed to travel for Umrah

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TOPSHOT - Muslim pilgrims perform the final walk around the Kaaba (Tawaf al-Wadaa), Islam's holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca on August 13, 2019. - Muslims from across the world gather in Mecca in Saudi Arabia for the annual six-day pilgrimage, one of the five pillars of Islam, an act all Muslims must perform at least once in their lifetime if they have the means to travel to Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Abdel Ghani BASHIR / AFP) (Photo by ABDEL GHANI BASHIR/AFP via Getty Images)

The holy city of Makkah is now welcoming international pilgrims for umrah after a seven-month closure due to Covid-19. About 10 000 foreign pilgrims arrived to perform the minor pilgrimage. Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Hajj Minister Amr Al-Maddah says upon arrival, pilgrims will need to isolate for three days before being transported to the holy sites.

However, they will only be allowed a 10-day stay in the kingdom. To understand what this means for potential South African pilgrims we are joined by the President of the South African Hajj and Umrah Council (SAHUC), Shaheen Essop. Followed by President of the South African Muslim Travel Operators Association, Sedick Steenkamp on travel agencies readiness.


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