Thu 08 April 2021:
Saudi Arabia’s General Presidency for the Affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque has decided to increase the capacity of the Grand Mosque in Mecca to 50,000 Umrah performers and 100,000 worshippers per day during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan for those who are vaccinated, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Tuesday.
This decision will go into effect on the first day of Ramadan, which is expected to begin on April 13, while adhering to the Kingdom’s COVID-19 precautionary and preventive measures, SPA said.
The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Guidance and Dawah said that Umrah permits will be given to pilgrims aged 65 and over who had already been vaccinated against coronavirus, Arab news reported,
Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, head of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques, said that inoculation is a requirement for entering the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah.
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Minister of Islamic Affairs Dr. Abdullatif Al-Asheikh on Tuesday issued a directive with precautionary measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus during Ramadan.
It said that iftar, suhur and itikaf inside mosques during Ramadan would be suspended, while the number of locations for Eid Al-Fitr prayers would be expanded.
Al-Asheikh said that matters related to holding tarawih and qiyam prayers in mosques would be announced later.
The deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Abdel Fattah Mashat, said people wishing to perform Umrah during Ramadan would have to submit a permit application through the Tawakkalna app not the Eatmarna app, and that there would be an update in the coming days to provide the permits.
Permits will be distributed on a weekly basis during Ramadan for pilgrims and people wishing to pray at the Two Holy Mosques, he added, and new openings would be available with any cancellations.
Last month, King Salman replaced the hajj minister, months after the kingdom hosted the smallest hajj in modern history due to the pandemic.
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