Dubai: The protective barriers around the Holy Kaaba in Mecca’s Grand Mosque have been removed two years after being placed as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, local media reported.
The move is part of efforts to ease coronavirus restrictions and coincides with the start of the new Umrah season.
The barriers around the Holy Kaaba were placed on July 1, 2020, in line with the instructions issued by the National Center for the Prevention of Coronavirus as a precautionary measure to stem the spread of the pandemic. It also denied permission for Hajj and Umrah pilgrims and visitors from touching or kissing the Kaaba and the Hajar Al Aswad (the Black Stone).
Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al Sudais, head of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, said the decision embodies the Saudi leadership’s keenness to facilitate pilgrims and visitors to the Grand Mosque. It aims to help worshippers perform their Umrah rituals safely in a spiritual ambience, especially after the new Umrah season commenced on Saturday.
“The presidency is working with all the sectors operating at the Grand Mosque to receive pilgrims and provide them with all services and facilities needed to facilitate performing of Umrah,” Sheikh Al Sudais said.