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Saudi Arabia Issues Health Protocols for Hajj

Muslims pray at the Grand Mosque during the annual Hajj pilgrimage in their holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Aug. 8, 2019.

Saudi Arabia has issued health protocols for this year’s upcoming Hajj pilgrimage.

The restrictions announced Sunday by the kingdom’s Center for Disease Prevention and Control are designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Saudi Arabia said last month that only a limited number of people would be allowed to perform Hajj this year.

The kingdom had previously announced the banning of the attendance of Muslims from abroad this year, the first time that has happened in modern times.

The safety measures announced Sunday include:

*the wearing of masks at all times, at all sites;

*maintaining the social distance of at least a meter and a half between each pilgrim;

*the banning of touching or kissing the Kaaba;

*using only provided previously sterilized stones for the “stoning the devil” ritual that will be performed with only 50 pilgrims at a time; and

*the limiting of no more than 10 pilgrims to the 50 square meters of space allocated for tents.