Both Holy Shrines of Saudi closed to foreign pilgrims over Coronovirus threat
Saudi Government suspends entry for Umrah pilgrimage and tourism
An interim order issued by the Saudi government in the wake of the Coronavirus epidemic has put the fate of Umrah travellers from the sub continent in a fix. The Saudi government has indefinitely put a hold on Visas issued for Umrah pilgrimage in the coming month and thereafter.
Looking at the growing threat of Coronavirus and the possible threat of the virus causing a mass infection during the pilgrimage, the Saudi government has cancelled all Visas issued for Umrah.
Zahiruddin Sakka, Chairperson of Rajasthan Haj Committee informed that once this order was released, hundreds of pilgrims at Mumbai and Delhi had to return, as their flights were cancelled. 25 pilgrims from Udaipur were affected and had to return. Subsequent to the order a total of 2000 pilgrims from Udaipur division, out of a total of 8000 from Rajasthan will be affected.
Travel agents have begun to cancel the bookings that were made for the trip to Saudi. A travel agent said that since the Visa validity is 15 days, the number of tourists affected in March alone from Udaipur, will be 500.
This order, which was passed late night on Wednesday, has affected pilgrims and tourists from China, Japan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Kazhakistan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Hongkong, Italy Iran etc. The Visa cancellation order has cause uncertainity among the travellers, who have requested for an update soon.