Pilgrims immunised against Covid-19 circled Islam's holiest tract successful Saudi Arabia's Mecca metropolis Tuesday arsenic they performed the year-round umrah pilgrimage connected the archetypal time of the fasting period of Ramadan.
Mask-clad worshippers entered Mecca's Grand Mosque successful batches to execute the ritual of circling the ineffable Kaaba, a cubic operation towards which Muslims astir the satellite pray, on socially distanced paths.
Only immunised pilgrims are eligible for permits to execute the pilgrimage and to be prayers successful the Grand Mosque during Ramadan, the hajj and umrah ministry announced earlier this month.
According to the ministry, 3 categories of radical are considered "immunised" -- those who person received 2 doses of coronavirus vaccine, those administered a azygous dose astatine slightest 14 days prior, and radical who person recovered from the infection.
The argumentation has efficaciously raised the Grand Mosque's capableness during Ramadan to accommodate 50,000 umrah pilgrims and 100,000 worshippers per day, according to authorities media.
It is unclear whether the policy, which comes amid an uptick successful coronavirus infections successful the kingdom, would beryllium extended to the yearly hajj pilgrimage aboriginal this year.
Pilgrimage amid pandemic
In precocious July past year, the kingdom hosted a downsized hajj, 1 of the 5 pillars of Islam and a indispensable for able-bodied Muslims astatine slightest erstwhile successful their lifetime.
Only up to 10,000 Muslim residents of Saudi Arabia itself were allowed to instrumentality part, a acold outcry from the 2.5 cardinal Muslims from astir the satellite who participated successful 2019.
Saudi Arabia has reported much than 400,000 coronavirus infections and 6,700 deaths from Covid-19.
The daytime fasting period of Ramadan is 1 of the 5 pillars of Islam.
Observant Muslims refrain from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk, and traditionally stitchery with household and friends to interruption their accelerated successful the evening.