Condition of Religious Tourism Destinations Affected by Corona Virus

Every year, Saudi Arabia houses more than 2 million Muslims who make the hajj. And every year, they receive more than 18 million Umrah pilgrims from all over the world. But the outbreak of coronavirus outbreaks, making Saudi Arabia temporarily stop its services.

While the Vatican, which is a religious tourism destination for Catholics, is also careful about the coronavirus. The following conditions are religious tourism destinations that are disrupted by the coronavirus.

Saudi Arabia

After appealing for measures to protect the two holy cities, Mecca and Medina from the coronavirus. Saudi officials decide on new rules such as the closure of the two mosques between the Isha prayer and the Fajr prayer and the prohibition of carrying food in the two regions.

Safa and Marwa Hills inside the Great Mosque in Mecca will also be closed until the pilgrimage ban is lifted. Zamzam water containers in both mosques will also be closed. The steps were taken after the local government closed the inside of the Haram in Mecca until Friday prayers. The closure allowed the cleaning team to disinfect the tawaf area near Kabah.

Images scattered on social media show empty tawaf areas because worshipers are forbidden from entering the mosque, known as the Grand Mosque, during cleaning.

Jerusalem

The church that was built in the Bethlehem region, the place of Jesus’ birth was temporarily closed after allegations of the coronavirus were spread. The Palestinian Ministry of Health calls for local churches, mosques and other institutions to be closed, after several suspected cases of coronavirus infection, which occurred in a hotel in the city of Bethlehem, in the West Bank of Israel.

Vatican

The director of the Vatican Press Office, Matteo Bruni, told reporters that Vatican health services had been temporarily closed. The temporary closure is to disinfect facilities, which are used for outpatient services.

He said the steps were taken after a patient tested positive with Covid-19.

Bruni also told reporters that the Vatican is considering ways to avoid the spread of the coronavirus or Covid-19.

“In connection with the upcoming activities of the Holy Father, the Holy See and the Vatican City State, steps are being studied to prevent the spread of Covid-19”.

The diocese of Rome has also cancelled all “non-sacramental activities”. These activities include catechism classes, marriage preparation courses, retreats, pilgrimages and most other group activities.

Apart from these precautions, the church’s charitable activities towards the poor will not stop. Local churches are encouraged to keep public kitchens open and provide shelter for homeless people and refugees while respecting Italian directions for hygiene and sanitation.

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