Saudi Arabia has banned international visitors from making an Islamic pilgrimage or hajj this year in order to combat the coronavirus.
State media reports say that only a very limited number of people currently residing in the kingdom can take part.
About two million people would visit Mecca and Medina this summer for an annual gathering.
There were fears that the hajj might be completely canceled.
In normal times, pilgrimage is one of the most significant moments in the Muslim religious calendar. But only citizens of the world who already reside in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to participate this year.
Authorities say this is the only way they can draw up social distance plans that will ensure the safety of people.
In Saudi Arabia, 161,005 infections and 1,307 deaths have been reported. It only lifted a nationwide weekend lock.,
What is a hajj?
At least once, making a pilgrimage is one of the five pillars of Islam – five obligations that every Muslim who has good health must fulfill and he can afford to live a good and responsible life, according to Islam.
Pilgrims gather in Mecca to stand in front of the building known as the Kaaba, praising Allah (God) together.
They perform other acts of worship, renewing their sense of purpose in the world.