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Children return to the Holy Mosques of Saudi Arabia


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The Hajj and Umrah Ministry of Saudi Arabia has allowed children of all ages inside the holy mosques of Makkah and Madinah.

In a tweet on Friday, the Haramain Sharifain tweeted that ALL children can now accompany their parents and relatives inside the mosques. Earlier, due to Covid-19 protocols, only vaccinated children above age five could enter the Haramain. The rest were only allowed to enter courtyards.

The Saudi Press Agency has also promised that this year Hajj will be performed in great numbers.

Meanwhile, on March 11, first Friday prayers, after the removal of Covid-19 restrictions, were offered at the Masjid Al Haram in Makkah. More than a million worshippers were a part of it.

The Saudi kingdom, which is home to Islam’s two holiest places in Makkah and Madinah, lifted coronavirus curbs last week. It no longer requires vaccinated travellers to provide a negative PCR or rapid test before their arrival in the kingdom or to quarantine.

The Saudi government has also allowed the full capacity of vaccinated pilgrims in Makkah and Madinah during Ramazan.

The Covid-19 pandemic has hugely disrupted Muslim pilgrimages, which are usually key revenue earners for the kingdom, bringing in some $12 billion annually.

Hosting the pilgrimages is a matter of prestige for Saudi rulers, for whom the custodianship of Islam’s holiest sites is their most powerful source of political legitimacy.

In 2021, the coronavirus outbreak forced Saudi authorities to dramatically downsize the hajj for a second year, and just 60,000 fully vaccinated citizens and residents of the kingdom took part.

Since the start of the pandemic, Saudi Arabia has registered more than 746,000 coronavirus cases, 9,000 of them fatal, in a population of some 34 million.

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