Social Distancing At Mecca’s Grand Mosque Dropped
Mecca Grand Mosque Drops Social Distancing, 1st Time Since Covid Outbreak
The Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca operated at full capacity on Sunday. This is for the first time ever since the COVID-19 pandemic. The Saudi government has lifted social distancing measures applied in the mosque. The floor markings that previously guided pilgrims in maintaining social distancing have been removed from the mosque.
— Abu Muaawiyyah (@AbuMuaawiyyah) October 16, 2021
Pictures and footage on Sunday morning showed people praying side by side in straight rows of worshippers. It is a formation revered in Muslim prayers. This is for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold last year.
— زاھىد ئەختەر – Zahid Akhtar (@ZahidDOAM) October 17, 2021
But Saudi authorities said visitors must be fully vaccinated against coronavirus. Also, they must continue to wear masks on mosque grounds. The Kaaba in the centre toward which Muslims around the world pray still remained cordoned off.
“This is in line with the decision to ease precautionary measures and to allow pilgrims and visitors to the Grand Mosque at full capacity,” reported the official Saudi Press Agency.
According to the interior ministry, Saudi Arabia will ease COVID-19 curbs from October 17. This is in response to a sharp drop in daily infections.
The authorities have also lifted curbs on fully vaccinated people at closed venues, gatherings, restaurants and cinemas. The kingdom also announced that from Sunday, fully-vaccinated people can attend sports events at all sports facilities.
Saudi Arabia has recorded over 547,000 coronavirus infections with 8,760 deaths