Saudi Arabia reopens Mecca’s Grand Mosque, lifts social distancing measures photo Reuters
Lighten Restrictions

Saudi Arabia reopens Mecca’s Grand Mosque, lifts social distancing measures

Oct 26, 2021, 9:12 AM
Heloise Diamante

Heloise Diamante

Writer

Saudi Arabia has eased the restrictions on the Grand Mosque and is planning to allow foreign pilgrims as early as November 1.

FOR the first time in seven months, the Grand Mosque in Mecca, the holiest site in Islam, is now open for pilgrims with no need for social distancing.

The kingdom started easing restrictions on the mosque earlier this month by only allowing Saudi citizens and residents under a limited capacity and strict social distanding.

On October 17, the floor markings guiding people to social distance in and around the Grand Mosque were removed.

However, entry will only be allowed to fully vaccinated visitors who must also continue to wear masks within mosque grounds.

While the Grand Mosque is being sterilized and cleaned multiple times a day, the Kaaba, towards which Muslims around the world pray, remain cordoned off.

According to the interior ministry, Saudi Arabia will continue easing Covid-19 restrictions following the sharp drop in daily infections and the increase of vaccination numbers.

The kingdom has started to ease restrictions on international flights in March but Muslim non-residents will have to wait to perform the umrah pilgrimage this November 1.

According to the John Hopkins University data, only 51 new cases were reported on October 25, an improvement from August’s highest daily new cases report of 5,121.

In July, the kingdom only allowed about 60,000 inoculated citizens and residents to take part in the annual Hajj pilgrimage which normally draws millions of pilgrims from around the globe.

Tags: #Muslim, #SaudiArabia, #Islam, #faith, #pilgrimage


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