2020 Hajj: Saudi announces rules, bans gatherings

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Saudi Arabia says all the intending pilgrims in 2020 Hajj must wear face masks at all times.

Workers have been directed to ensure no overcrowding or gatherings take place during the pilgrimage, Dpa reports.

The kingdom stated that only persons who reside in the country could perform the Hajj, scheduled for July ending.

On Monday, Saudi Arabia’s Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (SaudiCDC) released a list of instructions for pilgrims and workers.

Space of one-and-a-half metres between each pilgrim must be observed during prayers or other rituals, at restaurants or inside tents.

Also, touching of Kaaba, the cube-shaped, black-clad shrine at Makkah’s Grand Mosque, is prohibited.

Pilgrims are banned from sharing personal items such as clothes, phones and towels.

Vehicles transporting pilgrims from one holy site to another must be occupied at 50-per-cent capacity.

Each pilgrim will be assigned the same seat throughout the Hajj.

At restaurants, only pre-packaged meals would be available as well as single-use bottles filled with water from the holy Zamzam well.

READ ALSO:  Britain now compliant with Saudi Arabia arms order, can issue export licenses: minister

Saudi Arabia has the highest number of cases in the Arab world, with more than 200,000 infections.

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