Saudi Arabia has declared wearing masks and maintaining social distance mandatory for worshipers at the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madina.
The restrictions are being imposed from Thursday morning, said the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques.
An official source at the Ministry of Interior: Reimposing wearing face mask and applying social distancing measures in all places (indoor and outdoor), activities and events, as of 7:00 am, Thursday, December 30, 2021.#SPAGOV pic.twitter.com/Ayr6TLKiFr
— SPAENG (@Spa_Eng) December 29, 2021
The measures will be observed among the Umrah
pilgrims and worshipers in spreading prayer rugs and while performing to ensure
safety of the pilgrims.
The presidency called on all visitors and the
workers at the Two Holy Mosques to comply with the timing for the entry on the
basis of the stipulated time mentioned in the Umrah and prayer permits issued
by Eatmarna and Tawakkalna applications.
The ministry urged worshipers to follow instructions
issued by the authorities at the Two Holy Mosques.
The precautionary measures announced in a move to curb
the spread of the coronavirus.
On December 26, Saudi Health Ministry in a press
conference confirmed a spike in the COVID cases in Saudi Arabia, with infections
more than “doubling” in a week.
The Kingdom had reported its first Omicron variant case
on December 1.
“One case of the Omicron variant has been detected
in the kingdom — it was a citizen coming from a North African country,” the
ministry official told the state SPA news agency.
The Saudi government had removed social distancing restrictions on October 17 and worshippers were allowed to pray without gaps in the holy mosques of Makkah and Madina and across the Kingdom.