Saudi Arabia has announced allowing non-pilgrims to perform the ritual circumambulation (tawaf) around the Holy Kaaba in the Grand Mosque in Makkah, further easing restrictions against COVID-19.
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz has issued orders allowing non-Umrah worshippers to perform the Kaaba encircling on the first floor of the Grand Mosque, spokesman for the General Presidency for the Two Holy Mosques Hani Haider said. The tawaf is allowed for the non-pilgrims daily in three designated periods from 7 to 10am, 9-11.59pm, and 12 at midnight to 3am, he added. “This is part of efforts for the gradual return after easing precautions resulting from the coronavirus pandemic,” the official added.
The worshippers are required to book tawaf appointments via the health app Etamarna.
Last month, Saudi Arabia eased restrictions against COVID-19 as the epidemiological situation in the country has stabilised amid a marked drop in infections.
The relaxed measures include ending distancing for worshippers in the two holy mosques in Mecca and Medina where full capacity has been reinstated.
However, worshippers are required to continue wear face masks at both mosques.