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Coronavirus: Foreign umrah pilgrims return to Prophet’s Mosque eight months later

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Foreign umrah pilgrims returned to the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina eight months after their entry was prohibited as a precaution against the coronavirus, the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Prophet’s Mosque in Saudi Arabia said on Monday.

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Under the third phase of gradual resumption of Umrah, 160 to 170 Muslims are allowed to visit the Prophet’s Mosque and the Rawdah – the chambers where Prophet Mohammed was buried – at a time, the Deputy President of the Affairs of the Prophet’s Mosque Mohammed al-Khodari told al-Ekhbariya TV.

Approximately, 4,000 to 5,000 Muslims visited the mosque and the Rawdah by the end of the day, al-Khodari said.

Foreign pilgrims return to the Prophet's Mosque in Medina. (Twitter)
Foreign pilgrims return to the Prophet's Mosque in Medina. (Twitter)

Before November 1, only pilgrims within Saudi Arabia were permitted to perform Umrah and visit the Two Holy Mosques in Mecca and Medina.

Muslims must follow precautionary measures throughout their visit, which includes wearing a face mask and maintaining at least a two-meter distance from others.

Foreign pilgrims return to the Prophet's Mosque in Medina. (Twitter)
Foreign pilgrims return to the Prophet's Mosque in Medina. (Twitter)

Eatmarna app

To be allowed into the mosque’s quarters, all visitors must first register through the Eatmarna application to obtain a permit.

The visitor can request permission and choose a specific time they wish to perform a prayer at the Prophet’s Mosque on the app.

The app is meant to prevent crowding and long waiting lines for those who wish to enter the mosque.

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Regular disinfection campaigns

The floors, hallways, and doors of the Prophet’s Mosque and its quarters are regularly disinfected using the most modern sterilizing equipment, the general presidency said.

The carpets in the mosque are also vacuumed and sterilized throughout the day, according to the general presidency.

Instead of placing their shoes in the usual designated area, special bags are handed out to Muslims to store their shoes before they enter the mosque to prevent crowding and infection.

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