Saudi Arabia reopens Mecca, Medina holy sites after sterilization

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Fri, 06 Mar 2020 - 10:00 GMT

Saudi Arabia on Friday reopened Al-Haram Mosque in the holy city of Mecca and Al-Masjid Al-Nabawi in the holy city of Medina after temporarily closing them for one night for sterilization - Reuters

Saudi Arabia on Friday reopened Al-Haram Mosque in the holy city of Mecca and Al-Masjid Al-Nabawi in the holy city of Medina after temporarily closing them for one night for sterilization - Reuters

CAIRO – 6 March 2020: Saudi Arabia on Friday reopened Al-Haram Mosque in the holy city of Mecca and Al-Masjid Al-Nabawi in the holy city of Medina after temporarily closing them for one night for sterilization, reported state TV Al-Ekhbariya.

This comes after Saudi Arabia reported five cases of the new coronavirus epidemic.

Late in February, Saudi Arabia announced a temporary ban on entering the Kingdom for performing Umrah pilgrimage in Mecca, in an effort to prevent the spread of new coronavirus, a statement by the foreign ministry read.

The decision also includes a ban on visiting the country to Al-Masjid Al-Nabawi in Medina and a temporary suspension of tourist visas from countries which Saudi health authority see as dangerous due to the spread of the coronavirus.

The Saudi decision also temporarily bars Saudi citizens and citizens of the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) from moving to or from the kingdom using their national IDs. However, exceptions include Saudi citizens outside the kingdom who are willing to return in case they left the country by their national IDs and the GCC citizens inside the Kingdom, in case they need to leave Saudi Arabia.

Later, the Kingdom also suspended the pilgrimage for its own citizens and residents over coronavirus spread fears.

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