Saudi Arabia announces haj health protocols for domestic pilgrims

WION Web Team New Delhi Jul 06, 2020, 09.15 AM(IST)

Haj at Saudi Arabia Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

After barring Muslims abroad from the rite for the first year in modern times, Saudi Arabia decided in June to limit the number of domestic pilgrims attending the haj to around 1,000 to prevent the spread of the virus.

Saudi Arabia on Monday announced health protocols to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in the 2020 haj season, the state news agency said.

As per the health protocols, the kingdom has banned gatherings and meetings between pilgrims during haj.

After barring Muslims abroad from the rite for the first year in modern times, Saudi Arabia decided in June to limit the number of domestic pilgrims attending the haj to around 1,000 to prevent the spread of the virus.

Touching the Kaaba, the holiest site in Islam, will be banned during the haj this year, and a social distancing space of a meter and a half between each pilgrim during the rituals including mass prayers and while in the Kaaba circling area will be imposed, a statement by the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) elaborated.

Also, access to holy haj sites at Mona, Muzdalifah and Arafat will be limited to those with haj permits starting Sunday, July 19 till Aug. 2 2020, and wearing masks all the time will be mandatory for both pilgrims and organizers.