Whereas social distancing measures had been lifted, Saudi authorities stated pilgrims should be vaccinated and put on face masks.
The Grand Mosque within the Muslim holy metropolis of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, has returned to working at full capability, with worshippers praying shoulder-to-shoulder for the primary time because the coronavirus pandemic started.
On Sunday, ground markings that information individuals to social distance in and across the Grand Mosque had been eliminated.
“That is according to the choice to ease precautionary measures and to permit pilgrims and guests to the Grand Mosque at full capability,” the official Saudi Press Company (SPA) reported.
Photos and pictures on Sunday morning confirmed individuals praying facet by facet in straight rows of worshippers, the formation revered in Muslim prayers, for the primary time because the COVID-19 pandemic took maintain final 12 months.
Whereas social distancing measures had been lifted, authorities stated guests should be totally vaccinated towards coronavirus and should proceed to put on masks on mosque grounds.
The Kaaba, in the direction of which Muslims world wide pray, remained cordoned off and out of attain.
In response to the inside ministry, Saudi Arabia will ease COVID-19 curbs from October 17 in response to a pointy drop in day by day infections and a substantial development of vaccination numbers.
The authorities additionally lifted curbs on totally vaccinated individuals at closed venues, gatherings, transportation, eating places and cinemas.
Masks are now not obligatory in open public locations whereas nonetheless imposed at closed venues, it added.
Moreover, fully-inoculated sports activities followers will from Sunday be allowed to attend occasions in any respect stadiums and different sports activities services, reported SPA.
In July, solely about 60,000 inoculated residents and residents had been allowed to participate in a vastly scaled-down type of the annual Hajj pilgrimage.
The Hajj – held over 10 days of yearly and required of bodily and financially ready Muslims at the least as soon as of their lifetime – usually attracts hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from across the globe. The Umrah, a lesser pilgrimage, might be undertaken at any time of the 12 months and in addition brings hundreds of thousands to the nation.
Final August, Saudi Arabia introduced it could start accepting vaccinated foreigners desirous to make the Umrah.
The COVID-19 pandemic vastly disrupted each pilgrimages, often key income earners for the dominion, raking in a mixed $12bn yearly.
Saudi Arabia has reported greater than 547,000 coronavirus circumstances and eight,760 deaths.