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COVID-19: Makkah Grand Mosque to Remain Closed on Arafat, `Eid Days

As final touches for hajj preparations are laid down, Saudi officials have announced that he grand mosque in Makkah would be closed during the days of Arafat and `Eid Al-Adha to protect pilgrims.

“The decision to suspend prayers in the Grand Mosque including its outdoor arenas will continue. We invite people of Makkah to break their fast on the day of Arafat in their homes,” said Maj. Gen. Muhammad Al-Ahmadi, Arab News reported.

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He added that new arrangements had been put in place to control pilgrims’ entry and exit to the Grand Mosque to ensure social distancing and effective precautionary measures against COVID-19.

“We have mainly focused on the health aspect this year for its extreme importance in the current unique situation (the coronavirus disease pandemic). The remaining stages will be implemented in the coming days,” added Al-Ahmadi.

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The holy sites in Mina, Muzdalifah, and Arafat have also been closed, and made available only for pilgrims

Hajj 2020 will commence on Tuesday, 28th of July 2020 and will continue till Sunday, 2nd of August 2020; in the evening time.

 This year, Saudi cut the number of pilgrims to only 1000 to curb the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

In June, Saudi Arabia opened more than 1500 mosque in Makkah for the first time since more than three months.

However, the Grand Mosque in Makkah remained closed with only limited number allowed to perform daily prayers inside.