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PRESS RELEASE: Saudi Arabia suspends entry for Umrah pilgrimage over coronoavirus fears 27.02.2020


27th February 2020


On Thursday 27th February 2020 the Saudi Press Agancy reported  that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stated that the relevant health authorities in Saudi Arabia have followed the developments related to the spread of the new Coronavirus, known as COVID-19, and have adopted several temporary, precautionary measures affecting travel to and from the Kingdom.  The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs affirms the Kingdom’s resolve in combatting the spread of the virus through the relevant health authorities, by applying international standards, and by supporting the efforts of countries and international organizations in their efforts to prevent the spread of the virus, especially the World Health Organization (WHO) and in order to achieve these goals, and ensure the highest degree of safety to residents in the Kingdom, relevant Saudi authorities have recommended precautionary measures to prevent Coronavirus from reaching the Kingdom. The Kingdom has decided to implement a number of measures including:

  • Entry to the Kingdom for the purpose of Umrah and/or visiting the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina is temporarily suspended.
  • Entry to the Kingdom with a tourist visa from countries with confirmed Coronavirus outbreaks, according to criteria established by Saudi health authorities, is temporarily suspended.

Yasmin Qureshi MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group said:

“Whilst I feel for the people who are already booked to travel for Umrah and will no loger be able to go.  I understand that the Saudi authorities have taken this precationery measure in light of the coronavirus due to the mass gathering of people traveling from all over the world and being in close proximity of each other.  This could be a potential for the virus to spread across the world.  It is a necessary action which we will be monitoring closely.”

Rashid Mogradia, CEO of CBHUK and Secretariat of the All-Party Parliamentary Group said:

“The Saudi authorities are experts in dealing with mass gatherings and managing infectious diseases. This move is to safeguard people from all around the world.   We advise anyone who has already booked to go for Umrah to contact their tour operator and check the travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.  We are working closely with the relevant authorities and stakeholders to ensure pilgrims get the necessary support”.


For further help and support contact CBHUK on 0845 833 4145 or email .


Further Reading

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