A limited number of pilgrims returned to Islam’s holiest site on Sunday after Saudi Arabia partially lifted coronavirus restrictions that had been in place since March. The Saudi government started allowing a maximum of 6,000 people a day to enter Mecca’s Grand Mosque to performumrah — a pilgrimage to Islam’s two holiest sites that can be taken at any time of year. “In an atmosphere of faith and with assured hearts… the first batch of pilgrims begin the pilgrimage in accordance with the precautionary measures laid out,” the hajj ministry said on Twitter. Read more: Saudi Arabia: Hajj cancellation spells frustration and empty pockets Coronavirus prevention measures Only Saudi citizens and residents will be permitted to enter the mosque during the first phase of reopening. During the second stage from October 18, the number of umrah pilgrims will be increased to 15,000 per day. Muslims from abroad will be permitted in the third stage from November 1, when capacity will be raised to 20,000, according to the Interior Ministry. Before visitors can enter the Grand Mosque, they are required to complete an online application and reserve a specific time and date to avoid crowding. Each person has up to three… Read full this story
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