Saudi Arabia is shutting down pilgrimages because of the coronavirus

Saudi Arabia on Thursday banned all pilgrims due to the coronavirus, but did not act with the same severity to restrict those patronizing its fledgling tourist industry.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it would decide which tourists to exclude on a country-by-country basis, contrasting with the blanket ban on those wanting to complete the Umrah pilgrimage.

“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,” the statement said.

It later listed 26 countries and territories, including those like China, South Korea, and Italy, which have the worst coronavirus outbreaks.

 

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