Pilgrims completely prohibited to touch Kaaba, Hajar Aswad
Published: 12:26 AM, 7 July 2020 Updated: 12:42 AM, 7 July 2020
Due to the coronavirus epidemic, touching the Holy Kaaba or kissing the Hajr Aswad during Hajj has been completely banned; reports Reuters quoting Saudi state news agency SPA.
The Saudi Arabian Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) on Monday issued guidelines for the Hajj. It has been said that during the entire Hajj, the worshipers have to maintain a social distance of 1 meter. It must be observed even during the prayers and circumambulation of the Kaaba.
To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Saudi Arabia in June has announced that only 1,000 pilgrims will take part in the Hajj this year. Only those who are staying in Saudi Arabia currently, can take part in the hajj. For the first time in the history of modern Saudi Arabia, the participation of Muslims in Hajj in different countries has been canceled.
The CDC guidelines also state that entry to the holy sites of Mina, Muzdalifah, and Arafat will be banned from July 19 to August 5, the fifth day of the Hajj, without a Hajj permit.
In addition, the CDC has issued instructions that wearing a mask is mandatory for both the organizers and the pilgrims. The statement said that 30 percent of the pilgrims will be Saudi nationals and the rest will be foreigners. Those who will be selected for Hajj must be tested negative for coronavirus. This should be their first Hajj in 20 to 50 years. If someone has a long-term physical complication, he will not be considered for Hajj this time.