COVID-19: Saudi Arabia relaxes restrictions, allows more worshippers

Pilgrims in Saudi Arabia last year

Pilgrims in Saudi Arabia

Agency Report

Saudi Arabia has started easing restrictions against the Coronavirus (Covid-19) with the wearing of face masks no longer mandatory in outdoor spaces.

On Sunday, Muslim worshippers at the Grand Mosque in Mecca were seen praying shoulder to shoulder after a mandatory distancing ruling was lifted for the first time since the pandemic started early last year.

The Grand Mosque is home to Kaaba, Islam’s most sacred site, towards which Muslims around the world direct their prayers.

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Also, Saudi media carried images of workers at the Grand Mosque removing floor stickers that had marked out social distancing rules.

The Grand Mosque in Mecca and the Prophet Mohammed Mosque in Medina can now operate at full capacity for fully vaccinated worshippers.

In recent months, Saudi Arabia with a population of around 34 million, has seen a significant decline in virus infections amid its mass vaccination campaign against Covid-19.

Authorities there have confirmed a total of 547,890 virus cases resulting in 8,760 deaths.