Barriers around Holy Kaaba removed

MAKKAH (Agencies): Saudi Arabia has removed the preventive barriers around the Holy Kaaba, allowing worshippers to once more touch the House of Allah and kiss the Hajar Al-Aswad (the Black Stone), after two years on Wednesday.
The Saudi authorities also granted permission to the pilgrims and the visitors to touch or kiss the Holy Kaaba and the Hajar Al-Aswad (the Black Stone) and their access to the Hateem for offering Nawafil. The barriers were installed to ensure social distancing between pilgrims and area surrounding the Kaaba, where pilgrims circumambulate seven times, on July 1, 2020 to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
After resumption of prayers in the Hateem, Saudi authorities will launch oraganized approach to the Black Stone through a devoloped plan as access to the Black Stone has been restored for everyone. The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques said it had begun preparations to provide services early on, in line with crowd management plans, and prepared the Grand Mosque in Makkah and its courtyards to facilitate Umrah rituals for pilgrims with ease and tranquillity.
Sheikh Dr Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, who leads the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, announced the decision. Al-Sudais said that this decision showed the care the Saudi leadership took for visitors to the Grand Mosque and its devotion to facilitating their rituals in a safe and spiritual atmosphere, given the huge number of visitors that the mosque had begun to witness with the start of the Umrah season. He said the presidency was cooperating with all sectors operating in the Grand Mosque to receive pilgrims and provide all necessary services, in line with the aspirations of the Kingdom’s leadership. He extended his gratitude and appreciation to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their care, attention, and support for the Two Holy Mosques. He prayed to Allah to bless them for their good deeds.