Saudi Arabia To Reopen Over 1,560 Mosques In Makkah From 21 June

by Vaishnavi Venkataraman
Saudi Arabia To Reopen Over 1,560 Mosques In Makkah From 21 June

After three months of being closed, Saudi Arabia is set to reopen 1,560 mosques in Makkah from today, 21 June. Strict safety measures are put in place for worshippers. The Ministry of Islamic Affairs in Makkah confirmed that the mosque has put forth strict rules such as ensuring prayer rugs are used only once and worshippers maintain safe distance.

On another note, did you know You Can Now Visit Makkah Despite Covid, Thanks To The New ‘Experience Makkah’ App?

Further, social distancing stickers are placed across the mosque to guide worshippers. In addition, volunteers will also inform worshippers about the safety distance when they enter the mosque. Besides, information posters have been placed inside and outside the mosque.

Credits: The National

After intensive cleaning and maintenance, over 90,000 mosques in Saudi, except in Makkah, opened doors to the public on 31 May. Over 90,000 mosques were reopened as part of the second phase of easing lockdown restrictions. Worshippers coming to the mosque were asked to perform ablution at home, wash hands and use sanitisers before going out to the mosque and after coming back home. Those above 60 years or with chronic diseases were advised to perform their prayers at home. Further, worshippers were also advised to recite the Holy Quran online from one’s own mobile phone or from a privately owned copy of the Holy Quran.

In addition, everyone were asked to bring their own prayer mat and maintain a two-metre distance between one another prayer. Children under the age of 15 were not be permitted. Putting on a face mask and avoiding shaking hands and other contact is also recommended.

However, despite all the safety rules the ministry closed 71 mosques in different regions of the kingdom. Covid cases were detected among worshippers as they failed to adhere to the safety rules and protocols.

What Else?

Travelers in Saudi Arabia will have their visas automatically extended by the Passports General Directorate in the kingdom. In a recent development, Saudi announced that all tourist visas will be extended for three months, free of charge. Saudi suspended inbound and outbound flights in March, in order to curb the spread of the virus.

This also meant tourists in the Kingdom could not leave until restrictions eased or manage to get on a repatriation flight. Many who are currently in the country have over stayed even after their visas expired. The tourist visa will now be extended automatically without tourists having to register on any portal. The extension will be done via the system of the General Directorate of Passports.