Saudi Arabia plans to reopen its borders to allow pilgrims to perform lesser Hajj (Umrah)

A statement from the state-run news agency Sunday said the country’s authorities would begin accepting applications for entry into the country on Monday.

In July, Saudi Arabia arrested more than 120 people on suspicion of collaborating in the production of fake credentials, two days before the start of this year’s Hajj pilgrimage.

The state news agency said among those arrested were nine health officials, all of whom had pleaded guilty to the charges.

Reports say the suspects used social media to advertise fake certificates for sale which allowed them to be exposed.

Saudi Arabia has closed its borders for 18 months due to fear of covid-19 virus.