Saudi Arabia: Jeddah airport prepares for Umrah arrivals
The Haj and Umrah Terminal at the King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah is preparing to receive foreign Umrah pilgrims as part of the third phase of the resumption of Umrah.
The third phase will start on November 1 after almost eight months of suspension of Umrah for foreign worshippers. Eng. Adnan Al Saqqaf, the CEO of the company operating the Haj and Umrah lounges at the airport, said that the airport has set up a mechanism to apply precautionary measures to stem the spread of coronavirus.
“We have put in place all preventive arrangements with regard to keeping social distance between pilgrims inside the terminals as well as at the counters. The airport staff are at the highest levels of readiness, even though not many pilgrims are expected to arrive within the first batches of the third phase of the resumption of Umrah service for foreign pilgrims. However, the number of permitted pilgrims will increase in a phased manner over the period of time,” he said.
Al Saqqaf said that there will be a separation between entrances and exits of pilgrims and other areas, with facilities ready to receive pilgrims from next week.
A workshop held at the airport on Sunday discussed necessary preparations for the success of the Haj and Umrah seasons. Meanwhile, the airport emergency committee has started holding meetings since Tuesday to discuss emergency plans and update them in accordance with international standards.
Foreign pilgrims will be allowed to enter the kingdom during the third phase of the gradual resumption of the Umrah. Around 20 per cent of the capacity of the Grand Mosque in Mecca will be accommodated by both domestic and foreign pilgrims during the third phase.
The Ministry of Haj and Umrah has completed preparations to receive foreign pilgrims after the successful and smooth resumption of the pilgrimage for citizens and expatriates living in the kingdom. There are more than 700 Umrah companies completing the process to receive foreign pilgrims.
A total of 120,000 pilgrims have so far performed Umrah and 45,000 people have offered prayers at the Grand Mosque during the current second phase, which began on October 18.