In the latest measures announced to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the wake of reopening, Saudi Arabia has announced health protocols for the 2020 Haj season, the chief being banning gatherings and meetings between pilgrims.
Stating the latest of the protocols to be followed by pilgrims, a statement by the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) elaborated that touching the holy Kaaba will be banned during Haj this year, and a social distancing space of a metre and a half between each pilgrim during the rituals including mass prayers and while in the Kaaba circling area will be imposed.
The statement added that access to holy Haj sites at Mina, Muzdalifah and Arafat will be limited to those with Haj permits starting on July 19 till August 2, 2020. Wearing masks all the time will be mandatory for both pilgrims and organisers, per the new protocols.
In the month of June, in order to stem the spread of the coronavirus, Saudi Arabia decided to limit the number of domestic pilgrims attending the Haj to around 1,000. It has also barred Muslims abroad from the ritual for the very first time in the modern era.