Devotees who have been vaccinated for the first time since the outbreak of the Kovit-19 epidemic were able to pray side by side Sunday at the Mecca Grand Mosque after the social gap in Saudi Arabia was removed.
The mosque, located in Mecca, the first holy site of Islam, hosted millions of Muslims before the outbreak of the disease in late 2019. Many restrictions restricting access to this site were imposed before it was gradually relaxed in these last few months. Devotees were vaccinated.
“The Great Mosque (now) can be used to its full potential and staff and visitors should always wear masks,” the Interior Ministry said in a statement. SPA Official Press.
The decision will apply from Sunday for the benefit of people who have been fully vaccinated against the corona virus, he said.
Public places such as transport, restaurants or theaters can operate at full capacity across the country and wearing a mask is no longer mandatory outside, the statement said.
Signs have been removed of the large mosque built around the Kaaba and the distances to be respected in the surrounding areas. This cubic cubicle system, where Muslims from all over the world go to pray during the Hajj, is inaccessible despite the large annual pilgrimage.
On Twitter, the SPA posted pictures of worshipers praying side by side. Since the outbreak began, there have been videos and photos of a few Muslims in Mecca praying far away from each other around the world, so in contrast to the regular crowd that gathers at the site during the pilgrimage.
During normal times, the Hajj and Umrah (small pilgrimage) bring about $ 12 billion (2 10.2 billion) a year to Saudi Arabia, which seeks to diversify its economy based on oil.
Saudi Arabia has officially registered nearly 548,000 epidemics, including 8,760 deaths.
In early August the government accelerated the vaccination campaign, with the aim of renewing tourism, hosting sporting events and events and easing restrictions.