Middle East

Social distancing stickers removed from all over Grand Mosque, Prophet’s Mosque

RIYADH — Workers has begun removing social distancing stickers from indoor and outdoor corridors, squares and facilities at the Grand Mosque in Makkah and Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, in preparatiom for the Fajr (dawn) prayer, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

This is in line with the decision to lift precautionary and preventive measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic, starting from Saturday, March 5.

According to an official source at the Ministry of Interior, the Kingdom ended social distancing at the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, but worshipers still have to wear masks. It is not mandatory to wear masks at open places, however one is required to wear masks indoors.

Pictures and video released by official media showed that the workers removing floor markings that guide people to social distance in and around the Masjid Al Haram and Masjid An Nabawi.

The requirement to obtain permits for pryers in Masjid Al Haram and Ziyarah to the Prophet and His Companions has been removed, and showing the “Immune” status on Tawkalana is sufficient.

The President of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques Sheikh Dr. Abdulrahman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Sudais praises the decision to lift the precautionary measures and affirms the keenness of the wise leadership.

The Kingdom reported below the 300-mark on Saturday with 283 new infections recorded over the past 24 hours.

On March 4, 2020, Saudi Arabia decided to temporarily suspend Umrah for citizens and residents; for fear of the spread of the COVID-19, the authorities also decided to prevent visiting the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah.

In October 2020, Saudi Arabia resumed Umrah after about seven months of suspension due to the global pandemic.

On October 17, 2021, due to a consequential decline in COVID-19 cases and a considerable development in vaccinations in the Kingdom, the interior ministry of Saudi Arabia eased COVID-19 restrictions.

On December 2021, Saudi Arabia reintroduced physical distancing in the two holy mosques after it was cancelled in October. — (Agencies)