The Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia operated at full capacity on Sunday for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began.
“This is in line with the decision to ease precautionary measures and to allow pilgrims and visitors to the Grand Mosque at full capacity,” reported the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
The mosque removed the floor markings which previously guided pilgrims in maintaining social distancing.
Saudi authorities said visitors must be fully vaccinated against coronavirus and must continue to wear masks on mosque grounds.The Kaaba — the black cubic structure in the center towards which Muslims around the world pray — remained cordoned off.
The kingdom also announced that from Sunday, fully-vaccinated people can attend sports events at all stadiums and other sports facilities, reported the SPA, adding that face masks are no longer mandatory in most open spaces.
Saudi Arabia has recorded over 547,000 coronavirus infections with 8,760 deaths.