Riyadh: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Monday announced the guidelines and SOPs to be observed and followed in the two Holy Mosques in Mecca and Madinah during Ramadan, the Saudi press agency reported, citing a statement from the general presidency for the affairs of the Masjid al-Haram and Masjid an-Nabawi.
The General Presidency for the affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al Sudais unveiled the Ramadan plan with strict COVID-19 precautionary measures in place at the Grand Mosque and Prophet Mosque to ensure the safety of worshippers.
According to Arab News, Al-Sudais stressed: “In the wake of the continued pandemic, I urge visitors of the Two Holy Mosques to get the COVID-19 vaccine to ensure their safety and (that of) other pilgrims and worshippers.”
The usual Prayer Rakats of Taraweeh and Tahajjud which is 20 +3 was reduced to 10+3.
Worshippers will be allowed to pray in the Abdullah Expansion, first floor, roof, and Courtyards in Masjid Al Haram.
The Mataaf area will remain closed to all except Umrah Pilgrims.
Umrah pilgrims will not be allowed to touch the Ka’bah, and the usual separation will remain in place.
Iftar spreads will be suspended, instead, individual distribution will be conducted.
I’tikaf will remain suspended in the last 10 days this year as well.
Zamzam water supply will remain suspended but ushers will provide 200,000 bottles of Zamzam water on a daily basis.
Permission to enter the Grand Mosque will only be allowed with valid permits issued via the Eatmarna App.
Al-Sudais said that with the help of about 10,000 workers, the number of worshipers would be adjusted according to the plan set by the authorities to prevent overcrowding at the two holy mosques.
More than 13 million people have performed Umrah and prayed at the Grand Mosque since the resumption on October 4, according to Al-Sudais.
Saudi Arabia, however, re-imposed a ban on international flights. The ban was first announced till March 31 but was later extended to May 17 because pilgrims from abroad will not be able to perform Umrah during Ramadan, according to an earlier report by Saudi Gazette.
Sheikh Al-Sudais has resumed the distribution of Zamzam water, the official operator of the Project, opened its doors to customers from March 23 to meet the growing demand for Zamzam water during Ramadan.
The Saudi ministry of Hajj and Umrah on Friday made it mandatory for all people participating in providing services connected to Hajj pilgrimage to get vaccinated against COVID-19.