RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz approved on Friday opening the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina to the public starting from Sunday, May 31, as part of the government’s plan to ease coronavirus restrictions and re-open the Kingdom.
Worshippers will be able to enter the Prophet’s Mosque for group prayers, with a limit of 40 percent capacity, starting from Fajr prayers on Sunday, state-run television Saudia TV reported.
The General Precedency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques implemented several coronavirus precautionary measures including: removing all carpets from the Prophet’s Mosque grounds, so that worshipers pray on the marble floors.
The authority also issued COVID-19 safety guidelines for praying in mosques: worshippers should wear face masks, worshipers should practice social distancing while praying with others in congregational prayers (Jamaa’a), and worshippers should bring their own prayer mats to pray on.
The Kingdom had announced on Tuesday the details of its phased plan to ease coronavirus restrictions and eventually restore ‘normal’ conditions.
It started implementing the first phase on Thursday, by shortening curfew and allowing for some economic activities to resume operations.
The second phase, which starts on Sunday, includes reduced curfew hours and allowing Friday prayer and all congregational (Jamma’a) daily prayers in all mosques across the Kingdom, except in Mecca.