Every year during summer, Muslims around the world gather at Mecca and Medina to perform Hajj.
However, following the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, the country has banned international visitors from making the Islamic pilgrimage, or Hajj, this year to curtail spread of the virus.
In an announcement by the state media, only a very limited number of people currently living in the kingdom may take part in Hajj.
There would have been an estimated two million people or more visiting Mecca and Medina this summer for the annual gathering. Even as there are fears the Hajj might be cancelled completely.
The pilgrimage is one of the most significant moments in the Muslim religious calendar. But only citizens from countries around the world who are already resident in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to attend this year.
The authorities say this is the only way they can make plans for social distancing to keep people safe.
Saudi Arabia has recorded 161,005 cases of infection and 1,307 deaths. It only lifted a nationwide lockdown at the weekend.
Making the pilgrimage at least once is one of the Five Pillars of Islam – the five obligations that every Muslim, who is in good health and can afford it, must satisfy in order to live a good and responsible life, according to Islam.
Pilgrims gather in Mecca to stand before the structure known as the Kaaba, praising Allah (God) together.Follow us on social media