Saudi Arabia announced on Thursday it was imposing travel restrictions on foreign nationals to the holy land out of concern over the spread of the coronavirus.
Saudi Arabia said it will block foreigners from traveling to Mecca and the Kaaba.
The Kaaba is the cube-shaped structure at the center of the annual hajj pilgrimage.
The Associated Press quoted Saudi authorities as saying that the travel limits also apply to the Prophet Muhammad’s mosque in Medina.
AP said Saudi officials have halted entry to the kingdom by those with tourist visas from countries affected by coronavirus.
Fox News noted that “The efforts to shield Islam’s holiest sites come months ahead of the annual hajj, which will begin in July. The number of pilgrims from outside Saudi Arabia who attend the event can reach 2 million or more”.