Saudi Arabia started easing restrictions against Covid-19 on Sunday with the wearing of face masks no longer mandatory in outdoor spaces.
Muslim worshippers at the Grand Mosque in the Saudi holy city of Mecca were seen praying shoulder to shoulder after a mandatory distancing ruling was lifted for the first time since the pandemic started early last year.
The Grand Mosque is home to Kaaba, Islam’s most sacred site, towards which Muslims around the world direct their prayers.
Saudi media on Sunday carried images of workers at the Grand Mosque removing floor stickers that had marked out social distancing rules.
The Grand Mosque and the Prophet Mohammed Mosque in Medina can now operate at full capacity for fully vaccinated worshippers.
In recent months, Saudi Arabia with a population of around 34 million, has seen a significant decline in virus infections amid its mass vaccination campaign against Covid-19.
Authorities there have confirmed a total of 547,890 virus cases resulting in 8,760 deaths.