Picture used for illustrative purpose only.
Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday that mosques would no longer accept worshippers for the customary five daily prayers and the weekly Friday prayer, in exceptional measures intended to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Prayers will continue only at the two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Medinah, state news agency SPA reported, citing a decision from the Council of Senior Scholars, the kingdom's highest religious body.
Mosques will close their doors temporarily but continue to issue the ritual call to prayer, which will direct people to pray in their homes rather than come to the mosque, SPA said.
Islamic Affairs Minister Abdulatif Al Sheikh told state television that facilities for washing the dead at mosques that have them would remain open but access would be restricted to a few people. Praying over the dead will only be permitted at the cemetery, not in the mosque, he added.
Saudi Arabia, with 133 reported infections and no deaths, has taken drastic measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus, including suspending the Umrah pilgrimage, halting all international flights, and closing most public establishments.
Mosques will be authorised to open 20 minutes before Friday prayers and should close 20 minutes after they finish, state TV said on Twitter, citing the ministry of Islamic affairs.
The ministry urged the pilgrim to obtain an approved and negative laboratory examination for the coronavirus 72 hours before the arrival in the Kingdom.
The kingdom's health ministry said it has administered more than five million coronavirus vaccine doses, in a country with a population of over 34 million.
During the meeting, they reviewed the ties between the two friendly countries across various domains and ways of enhancing them to achieve their common interests.
Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan also sent congratulatory messages to the King of Sweden and to the Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson.
According to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), some 793,646 eligible voters will choose 50 MPs out of 207 candidates to represent them in the new legislature for a term of four years.