Congregational prayers resume at Grand Mosque in Mecca

Move comes after 7-month hiatus due to coronavirus pandemic

Congregational prayers resume at Grand Mosque in Mecca

Congregational prayers resumed Sunday at the Masjid al-Haram, or the Grand Mosque, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia after a 7-month hiatus due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Residents of the kingdom were allowed to perform prayers at the mosque, where the Kaaba is located, according to state television.

On Oct. 4, Saudis and foreign residents of the kingdom were permitted to perform the year-round Umrah pilgrimage at 30% capacity or 6,000 people per day.

Meanwhile, as of Oct. 18, the kingdom has allowed 15,000 pilgrims per day to pray at Al-Masjid al-Nabawi, or the Prophet's Mosque, in Medina.

Both local and international visitors for Umrah and worship will be accepted as of Nov. 1. The Masjid al-Haram and Al-Masjid al-Nabawi will also open at full capacity but with protective measures in place.

The annual Hajj pilgrimage was also limited to those living in Saudi Arabia due to the pandemic.