Saudi Arabia temporarily bars entry for pilgrims

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    Saudi Arabia has today temporarily halted travel to the holy sites of Mecca and Medina over fears of the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

    It is not clear if the annual Hajj pilgrimage, which begins in July, will be affected.

    The move by the Saudi government prevents foreigners from reaching the holy city of Mecca and the Kaaba, and travel is also suspended to the mosque in Medina.

    The ban will affect Umrah, which is an Islamic pilgrimage that can be performed at any time of year.