Nearly one-and-a-half million people have passed through the gates of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in the first ten days of Ramadan 2021.
People performing the Umrah pilgrimage as well as other worshippers have been able to visit Islam’s holiest site during a pandemic as precautionary measures are being enforced, according to the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
The capacity of the Mataf Courtyard, where worshippers walk along paths circling the Kabaa, has been expanded to allow attendees to maintain distance from one another and reduce the chance of infection.
Entry into the Grand Mosque is controlled through the Earmarna app, through which pilgrims are allocated specific time slots. Visitors must be vaccinated and masks are mandatory.
Official permits are necessary to perform Umrah this year. Saudi officials said earlier this month that anyone attempting to perform the pilgrimage without having obtained a permit would be liable for a $2,666 (10,000 Saudi riyal) fine.