A limited number of citizens and residents permitted to enter Mecca’s Grand Mosque during first phase of reopening.

Muslims pray around the Kaaba, the cubic building at the Grand Mosque, during the first day of Umrah in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia [Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah via AP]

A limited number of people circled Islam’s holiest site in Mecca on Sunday after Saudi Arabia lifted coronavirus restrictions that had been in place for months.

The kingdom took the rare step of suspending the Umrah – the smaller pilgrimage that draws millions all year round from around the world – in early March as the coronavirus morphed into a global pandemic and prompted countries to impose lockdowns and

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