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Saudi mosques reopen for prayers after closure

An aerial view shows an empty white-tiled area surrounding the Kaaba, due to the coronavirus pandemic in Makkah's Grand Mosque on 6 March 2020P [BANDAR ALDANDANI/AFP/Getty Images]
An aerial view shows an empty white-tiled area surrounding the Kaaba, due to the coronavirus pandemic in Makkah's Grand Mosque on 6 March 2020P [BANDAR ALDANDANI/AFP/Getty Images]

Mosques across Saudi Arabia reopened for prayers today, for the first time in more than two months due to the outbreak of coronavirus, Anadolu Agency reports.

Worshippers were allowed to enter the mosques, except the mosques in the holy city of Makkah, for the dawn prayers with a limit of 40 per cent capacity.

The official SPA news agency published several images of worshippers performing prayers at mosques amid preventive measures to combat the virus.

Saudi authorities said millions of text messages were sent to people to inform them about the new rules for prayers. These rules include keeping a two-meter (six-foot) distance between people during prayers, wearing face masks at all times and abstaining from greeting one another with handshakes or hugs.

Islamic scholars, NGOs call for Makkah, Madinah to be placed under international control

Saudi Arabia suspended public prayers at mosques across the country late March as part of measures to stem the spread of coronavirus.

The kingdom has so far confirmed 83,384 virus cases, including 480 deaths.

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CoronavirusMiddle EastNewsSaudi Arabia
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