Saudi to deny Turkish travellers Umrah pilgrimage

Saudi Arabia will refuse entry to the Kingdom for Turkish travellers looking to participate in the minor pilgrimage known as Umrah, the country's top religious body said on Sunday.

Turkey is one of 33 countries - including the UAE, Egypt and Iran - Saudi will deny entry to for the minor pilgrimage, which can be performed almost all year round,  BirGün newspaper cited the Religious Affairs Directorate as saying.

Saudi Arabia reopened the Muslim holy sites for the Umrah last month after suspending the voluntary pilgrimage in February of last year in a bid to stem he spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Kingdom reopened for Umrah on condition that pilgrims would be received in accordance with the necessary pandemic measures that would ensure the safety of visitors of the Grand Mosque.

The directorate said they would be updating Umrah hopefuls with any changes to the current policy, BirGün said.

Turkey’s new COVID-19 cases have jumped to around 25,000 this month, according to government data, the highest level in almost three months.

The country remains on the U.K. red list, meaning it is out of bounds to the more than two million U.K. tourists visiting each year.

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